Sriharikota: In a textbook launch, India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) on Monday successfully placed into orbit remote sensing satellite Cartosat-2B and four other satellites after a perfect lift off from the spaceport here.
At the end of an over 51-hour countdown, the 44.4 metre-tall four-stage PSLV-C-15, costing Rs260 crore, blasted off from a launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre with ignition of the core first stage and placed the satellites in orbit one after the other.
Visibly relieved scientists, headed by Isro chairman Dr K Radhakrishnan, cheered as Isro’s workhorse PSLV soared into clear skies at 9.22 AM from the spaceport in the East Coast in Andhra Pradesh, about 100 km north of Chennai.
The PSLV launch assumes significance as it comes about three months after Isro suffered a major setback on 15 April when the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-D3), which was launched using an Indian-designed and built cryogenic engine for the first time, failed and fell into the Bay of Bengal.
Cartosat-2B is an advanced remote sensing satellite built by Isro. This is the latest in the Indian remote sensing satellite series and the 17th in this series.
Cartosat-2B is mainly intended to augment remote sensing data services to the users of multiple spot scene imagery with 0.8 metre spatial resolution and 9.6 km swath in the panchromatic.
Cartosat-2 and 2A, two Indian remote sensing satellites in orbit, are currently providing such services.
A set of four satellites including Studsat built by students of seven engineering colleges in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, Alsat from Algeria, two nano satellites from Canada and Switzerland, and a pico (very small) satellite called Oceansat 2 accompanied Cartosat 2 on its trip to orbit.
Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahuluwalia, and former Isro chief Dr K Kasturirangan witnessed the launch.
“It has been a wonderful experience. The Isro has made the country proud,” Ahluwalia said, congratulating the scientists after the perfect take off.
Attributing the success of PSLV C-15 to the entire team behind the mission, Isro chairman K Radhakrishnan said, “We had an excellent flight. It injected precisely the five satellites. The entire Isro team is behind the success”.
In an apparent reference to the failure of GSLV D3 cryogenic stage, the space agency’s first mission after he took over as its chief, he said his team of scientists were inspired to work “especially after the last few weeks after a serious problem that we faced.”
“And I also want to say we have understood the problem with regard to the indigenous cryogenic engine and stage. We will confirm it in a few weeks with a few tests and then we will come back”, he said.