A new variant of the India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket on Monday carrying the electronic intelligence satellite, Emisat for the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) and 28 other third party satellites lifted off by the second launch pad here.
About 17 minutes into the flight, the rocket would eject the 436 pound Emisat to a 749 km orbit.
“There is increased demand for satellites from strategic businesses. About six/seven satellites are intended to be built,” a senior official told IANS on the condition of anonymity.
After placing into orbit the Emisat, the rocket will be brought down to put to orbit the 28 foreign satellites at an altitude of 504 km.
This will be accompanied by bringing down the rocket further to 485 kilometers once the fourth stage/engine will turn into a payload stage carrying three experimental payloads: (a) Automatic Identification System (AIS) from ISRO for Maritime satellite software shooting messages transmitted from ships (b) Automatic Packet Repeating System (APRS) from AMSAT (Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation), India – to help amateur radio operators in monitoring and tracking place data and (c) Advanced Retarding Potential Analyser for Ionospheric Studies (ARIS) from Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) – for the structural and compositional studies of ionosphere, the space agency said.
The whole flight chain will take about 180 minutes from the rocket’s lift at 9.27 a.m.
The 28 international customer satellites — 24 from the US, two from Lithuania and one each from Spain and Switzerland — will weigh about 220 pound.
“It is a particular assignment for us. We’ll be using a PSLV rocket with four strap-on motors. Further, for the very first time we’ll be attempting to orbit the rocket at three different altitudes,” Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman K. Sivan had told IANS.
In its usual configuration, the rocket will have six strap-on motors hugging it’s first stage.
But the 44.5 metre tall rocket which lifted off on Monday had four strap-on motors along with its particular configuration is designated as PSLV-QL.