New Delhi, Feb 26 (): Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C20, on Monday put Indo-French oceanographic study satellite ‘SARAL’ and six other mini and micro space crafts from different countries into their specific orbits after successful launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
The vehicle was slated to blast-off at around 6 pm local time, but was delayed by five minutes due to the presence of space debris in the flight path. The launch was witnessed by President Pranab Mukherjee from the mission control room along with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy and Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan.
Mukherjee was delighted to witness the remarkable launch of the vehicle and congratulated the ISRO scientists for successfully executing the mission.
Showing his happiness, ISRO Chairman K.Radhakrishnan said: “It’s a successfull launch.”
The rocket climbed steadily into the horizon, by the end of 108 seconds, the first stage, powered by solid propellants, peeled away and fell into the Bay of Bengal. It climbed further steadily and moved like a dot of light. During its flight of 18 minutes, PSLV-C20’s four stages caught fire on time and was thrown out, but the actual path of the rocket never wavered. It maintained its pre-determined path.
By the end of 18 minutes, PSLVC-20’s fourth stage rifled the 407-kg SARAL into orbit at a height of 785 km. The six smaller payloads in the mission launched include two from Austria, two from Canada and one each from UK and Denmark.
ISRO earlier planned to launch the SARAL on December 12 last year but the mission was postponed as additional tests were needed to carry out to “address technical issues to ensure reliability”.
With a lift-off mass of 407 kg, Saral is the 56th satellite to be launched by PSLV. PSLV has a perfect record of 21 consecutive successful flights. The successful launch takes ISRO’s tally of launching foreign satellites to 35.