After the successful multi-orbital launch of eight satellites, ISRO is now focused on the upcoming launch of communication satellite GSAT-18 on October 4. GSAT-18 will have a lift off mass of about 3425 kg and 6 KW power generation capacity. The GSAT-18 carries Ku- band, Normal C-band and Extended C-band transponders, says ISRO. The satellite will be launched onboard Ariane-5 launch vehicle. ISRO is also working on the GSLV Mark-3. “We are working on our GSLV Mark-3, towards the end of this year we intend to realise this launch,” ISRO chairman AS Kiran Kumar at a press conference after today’s success.
Talking about SCATSAT-1, the primary satellite that was launched by ISRO today, Kiran Kumar said, “Based on the actual signals from SCATSAT-1, we have confirmed that solar panels and antenna mechanism have deployed.” “Now, the satellite’s various control systems are satisfactorily going on. In a week’s time, it’ll be operating in radiometer mode,” he added. SCATSAT-1 is a continuity mission for Oceansat-2 Scatterometer and is meant to provide wind vector data products for weather forecasting, cyclone detection and tracking services. The mission life of the satellite is 5 years, says ISRO.
ISRO’s PSLV C-35 mission today is a milestone, because this is the first time that the space research agency has placed satellites in more than one orbit. The SCATSAT-1 was placed in a 730 km Polar Sunsynchronous orbit and the other seven were placed in 689 km lower orbit. To place satellites in different orbits, ISRO for the first time tried out the ‘multiple-burn capability’. In today’s launch, it allowed for two re-ignitions of the launch vehicle.
Not only that, this is also PSLV’s (known to be ISRO’s workhorse) longest ever mission. The PSLV C-35 blasted off from Sriharikota at 9:12 AM and placed seven satellites in their orbit between 11.25 and 11.28. The SCATSAT-1, the primary satellite of the mission was placed in its orbit at 9:29 AM. The total duration of the mission was over 2 hours and 15 minutes, making it the longest PSLV mission by ISRO.