ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) today(January 10, 2007) successfully conducted launch of it tenth flight of their workhorse launch vehicle PSLV from SHAR, Shriharikota. This launch was unique from many aspects for Indian scientists and also an great leap in their faith in indigenous Space Technology.
The homegrown PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) successfully launched India' CARTOSAT - 2 and Space Capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE) -1, Indonesia's LAPAN-TUBSAT and Argentina's PEHEUNSAT. Cartosat had payload of 680 kg, SRE-1 of 550 kg, LAPAN of 56 kg and PEHEUNSAT of 6 kg.
PSLV has made 10 consecutive(including this one) successful launches since 1994. PSLV was actually designed to launch one tonne payload satellites but its capability has been gradually scaled up. The current flight had total payload of about 1292 kg. Its first stage is one of the largest solid propellant boosters in the world. The fourth stage's propellant has been reduced from 2.5 tonnes to 2 tonnes. The first stage's weight has also reduced by 500 kg. This all has led to sugnificant improvement in its payload capacity.
Cartosat was injected into high polar SSO after 981.3 seconds, 45 seconds later 6 kg PEHEUNSAT was injected. 120 sec later SRE got separated and finally 190 seconds later TUBSAT mounted on fourth stage was separated.
For the first time DLA (Dual Launch Adapter) was used for launching the satellites.
Cartosat carries PAN (Panchromatic Camera) with the spatial resolution better than one metre and swath of 9.6 km. The satellite can be steered upto 45 degrees along as well as across the track. The data from it can be used in LIS (Land Information Systems) and GIS (Geographical Information Systems).
SRE is intended to demonstrate the technology of an orbiting platform for performing experiments in microgravity conditions. After completion of experiments, the capsule will be de-orbited and recovered after splashing it into bay of bengal. The results of this experiment will useful for further manned missions to space and use of Resusable rockets for launching satellites, which will immensely reduce the cost of launching. More information is available of ISRO website.
This launch of today has vindicated the technological prowess of India and also proved that inspite of sanctions by developed nations, India can pursue its space ambitions on it own mettle.
This will also re-establish ISRO and its commercial arm Antirx in commercial launch market and bring in valuable forex for the country.