ISRO has made India proud again! Successfully placing satellites in orbits, be they Indian or foreign, is nothing new for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). So one would wonder, why the successful launch and mission completion of PSLV C-35, is creating so much buzz? ISRO’s mission is a milestone, because this is the first time that the space research agency has placed satellites in more than one orbit. Not only that, this is also PSLV’s (known to be ISRO’s workhorse) longest ever mission.
“Moment of immense joy & pride for India. Congratulations to @isro on successful launch of PSLV-C35/SCATSAT-1 & 7 co-passenger satellites,” tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the rocket lifted off earlier today. “Our space scientists keep scripting history. Their innovative zeal has touched the lives of 125 crore Indians & made India proud worldwide,” he said. We bring you some interesting details about what makes the mission a historic one:
1) Longest flight for PSLV: 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.
2) First multi-orbital launch: This is for the first time that ISRO has placed satellites in more than one orbit. With this feat, ISRO has scripted history for India. 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.
3) Student satellites: Apart from the SCATSAT-1, and other foreign satellites, the PSLV C-35 placed two academic satellites, PRATHAM and PISAT. While PRATAM has been made by students of IIT-Bombay, PISAT is by students of PES University of Bangalore. PRATHAM has a mass of 10 kg and its objective is to estimate the Total Electron Count (TEC) with a resolution of 1km*1km location grid. On the other hand, PISAT has a mass of 5.25 kg and its mission aim is to design and develop a Nanosatellite for remote sensing applications.
SCATSAT-1 is the primary satellite of the mission. It 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. The foreign satellites onboard the PSLV are ALSAT-1B, ALSAT-2B and ALSAT-1N (all from Algeria) and Pathfinder-1 and NLS-19, from USA and Canada, respectively.