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India Launches its Heaviest Commercial Space Mission
Jul 14, 2015

On July 11, India launched its heaviest commercial space mission ever with its polar rocket successfully putting five British satellites into the intended orbit after a flawless takeoff.

  • Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) workhorse 44.4 metre tall Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C28—a PSLV-XLversion—placed the five satellites in Sun synchronous orbit about 20 minutes after lift off from the Satish Dhawan space Centre, Sriharikota.

  • The life of the mission is seven years.

  • With the overall mass of five satellites being about 1,440 kg, this launch becomes the 'heaviest commercial mission' ever undertaken by ISRO and its commercial arm Antrix Corporation.

  • PSLV's 30th mission saw the launch of three identical DMC3 optical earth observation satellites, built by Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL), United Kingdom, and two auxiliary satellites.

  • The three DMC3 satellites, each weighing 447 kg, was launched into a Sun-Synchronous Orbit (SSO) using the high-end version of PSLV-XL.

  • The satellites were launched as part of an arrangement to between DMC International Imaging (DMCII), a wholly owned subsidiary of SSTL, UK and Antrix Corporation Limited.

  • The DMC3 constellation, comprising three advanced mini satellites DMC3-1, DMC3-2 and DMC3-3, is designed to address the need for simultaneous high spatial resolution and high temporal resolution optical Earth Observation.

  • These satellites can image any target on the Earth's surface every day. Major application areas include surveying the resources on earth and its environment, managing urban infrastructure and monitoring disasters.

  • The three DMC3 satellites were placed in a Sun synchronous orbit at an altitude of nearly 400 miles.

  • In addition to the three DMC3 satellites, PSLV C28 also carries two auxiliary satellites from UK—CBNT-1,a technology demonstrator earth observation micro satellite built by SSTL, and De-OrbitSail, a technology demonstrator nano satellite built by Surrey Space Centre.

⇒ This was the 30th flight of the PSLV since it became operational in 1995, with one early failure.

It was ninth flight in the modified `extended' configuration, called XL.

ISRO has so far launched about 40 small to medium size foreign satellites for a fee.


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