By Venkatachari Jagannathan
Sriharikota (Andhra Pradesh), Nov 29 (IANS): India on Thursday put into orbit its own Hyper Spectral Imaging Satellite (HysIS) — an earth observation satellite — and 30 other foreign satellites in text-book style.
In the process, India has crossed the milestone of lifting and putting into orbit over 250 foreign satellites. India has till date has put into orbit 269 foreign satellites.
The notable aspect of the rocket mission is the placing of the satellites in two different orbits — one at a higher altitude and the others in a lower altitude.
After the successful launch, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman K. Sivan said: “Once again Indian space scientists showed their excellence. The PSLV injected the HysIS first and later the 30 foreign customers satellites.
“The HysIS is a state-of-the-art satellite. The heart of the satellite, the optical imaging chip was designed and fabricated by ISRO.
Sivan also said that the next launch will be of communication satellite GSAT-11 from French Guiana on December 5 which will followed by GSAT-7A by the Indian rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) from here.
At 9.58 a.m., the four staged/engine PSLV-CA rocket, standing 44.4 metres tall and weighing about 230 tonnes, blasted off from the first launch pad.
With the fierce orange flame at its tail, the rocket slowly gained speed and went up enthralling the people at the rocket port while the rocket’s engine noise like a rolling thunder adding to the thrill.
More thrilling aspect came in when rocket’s fourth stage/engine was cut/switched off in just over 16 minutes after the lift off.
A minute later, the Indian satellite HysIS with a mission life of five years was placed in 636 km polar sun synchronous orbit.
Following that the rocket was brought to a lower altitude of 503 km.
Post HysIS ejection, the rocket’s fourth stage was restarted at 59.65 minutes after the lift off.
The primary goal of HysIS is to study the earth’s surface in visible, near infrared and shortwave infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. It will also be used for strategic purposes.
The co-passengers of HysIS include one micro and 29 nano satellites from eight different countries.
Later, the rocket was switched off and on twice before the final foreign passenger was put into orbit about 112.79 minutes after the rocket’s lift off.
All the foreign satellites were placed in a 504 km orbit.
While 23 satellites are from the US, the rest are from Australia, Canada, Columbia, Finland, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Spain.
These satellites have been commercially contracted for launch through Antrix Corporation Limited, the commercial arm of ISRO.
ISRO had earlier carried out a satellite mission spread over two hours in January.
(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at [email protected])