The 710-kg earth observation satellite the PSLV is carrying the third in the Cartosat 2 series.
New Delhi: Space agency ISRO this morning successfully sent up a rocket carrying India's 100th satellite along with 30 others, four months after failed launch. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle or PSLV lifted off at 9.29 am from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh and a key component that had failed in August worked this time, causing scientists to gasp in relief at having crossed a major hurdle. The lift-off was postponed by a minute because of fear of collision with space debris. The last launch of IRNSS-1H - India's first privately built satellite -- on August 31 last year had failed because of a freak accident. This is the 42nd flight of the PSLV.
Here are 10 facts about the ISRO launch:
- The 30 other satellites include two other satellites from India and 28 satellites from six countries -- Canada, Finland, France, Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States.
- Scientists said the mission is a unique one, since the satellites were launched in two orbits. Thirty of the satellites were launched in an orbit 550 km about, and one 359-km above the Earth. President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated ISRO scientists on on the successful launch of PSLV-C40.
- This was done through what scientists call the "multiple burn technology" under which the rocket's engine is switched off and then switched on to control its height.
- The whole process of placing the satellites in two orbits will take 2 hours 21 minutes -- the longest so far. The 28-hour countdown for the launch of the PSLV started at 5.29 am on Thursday.
- The 710-kg earth observation satellite the PSLV is carrying the third in the Cartosat 2 series. The last satellite of the series had been launched successfully in June 2016.
- ISRO had brushed off speculations of sabotage after the last satellite launch failure. Scientists said a tiny but vital equipment of the rocket had failed, due to which its protective heat shield could not be separated.
- The heat shield of a satellite is meant to protect it from the heat generated by the friction against atmosphere during take-off. The launch became necessary after three atomic clocks of one satellite started malfunctioning. Atomic clocks provide navigational data, and they are crucial for a Global positioning system.
- NAViC, a system of seven satellites, powers India's powerful homegrown Global Positioning System.
- "After 100 successes there can still be failures. We should learn from the past mistakes. We have made rigorous changes after the failure," said ISRO chief AS Kiran Kumar after the launch.
- ISRO's workhorse PSLV rocket weighs nearly 320 tonnes and stands up to 44.4 meters, equivalent to a 15-storey building.
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