SRIHARIKOTA: Though PSLV-C38 mission don't match up to the pomp and gaiety of recently launched GSLV MkIII or its predecessor C37 mission that lobbed 104 satellites in the orbit shattering world record, the primary payload Cartosat-2 series satellite is an important asset up there which would come in handy for strategic and surveillance operations. Also, the national space agency has conducted complex manoeuvres reigniting the rocket for 3 times after successfully deploying all the 31 satellites on-board in a bid to master the art of putting placing different satellites in different orbits.
In its 40th flight, India's most trusted launch vehicle PSLV has blasted-off from Sriharikota coast from the first launch pad at Satish Dhawn Space Centre (SDSC-SHAR) in its usual poise at 9.29 am.
Sixteen minutes into the flight, 712 kg Cartosat satellite was first deployed into the designated 505 km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO). In next seven minutes, all the remaining 30 co-passenger nano satellites were separated at an altitude of 520 km.
The co-passenger satellites comprise of 29 nano-satellites from 14 countries including Austria, Belgium, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, United Kingdom and United States as well as one nano satellite designed and conceived by Noorul Islam University in Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu.
Though ISRO's 104 satellites feat in February eclipses this mission, it is still the third biggest launch in the world number of satellites launched in one mission. Russian in 2014 has launched 37 satellites in single mission and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) rocket carried 29 satellites in 2013. The total weight of all the 31 satellites combined is about 955 kg.
ISRO chairman AS Kiran Kumar has credited the success to the entire team.