According to the ISRO website, the 46th flight of PSLV-C44 to launch MicroSat-R and KalamSat from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota on Jan 24.
The Indian Space Research Organisation’s is getting ready with a new variant of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) which will launch the world’s smallest satellite built by a student start-up from Chennai, the KalamSAT. The satellite will be powered by the PSLV’s fourth stage — a first for any space agency. Code named PSLV-C44, for the first time in the world it will not only just launch a satellite but use the rocket as a platform for experiments in space. And this same rocket will carry an earth observation satellite for the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) — MicroSAT-R, into orbit for surveillance and imaging.
According to the ISRO website, the 46th flight of PSLV-C44 to launch MicroSat-R and KalamSat from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota on Jan 24. The four-stage launch vehicle which has alternating solid and liquid stages, with two strap-on configuration has been identified for the mission and configuration designated as PSLV-DL.
The fourth stage (PS4) of the vehicle will be moved to a higher circular orbit so as to establish an orbital platform for carrying out experiments, it added.
At an annual media interaction in New Delhi, ISRO’s Chairman K Sivan had said that “PSLV-C44 is a new variant of the PSLV whose last stage PS-4, which usually becomes dead after ejecting the primary satellite, will remain active for six months.”
The ISRO chief in response to a question had said that the agency has received seven applications from students for doing experiments in space. “Based on requirements from students, we will launch more such PSLV rockets this year so as to enable students to perform tests in space. This facility will be free for all students,” Sivan had said.
Based on the lines of a similar programme being run by the US based space agency NASA, students who are very interested in Space need to be concerned about launches or rocket modules for their satellites, and can instead focus just on their experiments. These PS4 platforms will provide both platform and power to their satellite.
So far, the agency has already sent up nine satellites built by students, but this is the first to be launch in the new PSLV variant.