India on Monday successfully launched satellite SCATSAT-1, which is meant for ocean and weather studies and seven other satellites, including from the US and Canada, from the Sriharikota spaceport.
The 44.4-metre tall ISRO’s workhorse PSLV rocket, besides SCATSAT-1, is carrying two Indian university satellites, three from Algeria and one each from the US and Canada.
The PSLV will launch its payloads in two different orbits for the first time in its mission. There will be two fourth stage engine restarts for this purpose.
PSLV C-35 took off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota which is around 110 km from Tamil Nadu’s capital Chennai at 9.12 am.
The primary satellite, the SCATSAT-1 is meant for weather forecasting, cyclone detection and tracking.
ISRO said that it is a “continuity” mission for the Ku-band scatterometer payload carried by SCATSAT-1 which has enhanced features compared to a similar one carried by Oceansat-2 satellite in 2009.
The two academic satellites are PRATHAM, from IIT, Bombay, and PISAT, from BES University, Bengaluru and its consortium.
While PRATHAM’s objective is to estimate total electron count, PISAT’s mission is to design and develop a nanosatellite for remote sensing applications.
The foreign satellites onboard the PSLV are ALSAT-1B, ALSAT-2B and ALSAT-1N (all from Algeria) and Pathfinder-1 and NLS-19, from USA and Canada, respectively.
According to ISRO, the total weight of all the eight satellites onboard PSLV C-35 is about 675 kg. SCATSAT-1 weighs 371 kg.
While SCATSAT-1 will be released first into a 730 km Polar Sunsynchronous Orbit (SSO) after about 17 minutes, the rest will be injected into a lower orbit of 689 km after around two hours.
The PSLV rocket is a four stage/engine rocket powered by solid and liquid fuel alternatively.
Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) director K. Sivan told news agency IANS on Sunday that the long time gap between the cutting off of the engine and its restart was not an issue.