ISRO Successfully Launches PSLV-C49; PM Modi, Shah Congratulate

The rocket carrying a radar imaging satellite, 9 other foreign satellites was authorised for launched at 3.12 pm. 

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India
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ISRO on Saturday, 7 November, launched the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C49 (PSLV-C49/EOS-01) at 3:12 pm from Sriharikota.
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The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Saturday, 7 November, launched the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C49 (PSLV-C49/EOS-01) at 3:12 pm from Sriharikota.

Soon after the successful launch, PM Narendra Modi took to Twitter to congratulate ISRO on their feat, saying, “In the time of COVID-19, our scientists overcame many constraints to meet the deadline.”

Soon after the launch, ISRO said that EOS-01 has successfully separated from fourth stage of PSLV-C49 and was injected into orbit. All nine customer satellites have also successfully separated and injected into their intended orbit, the space research organisation said on Twitter.

The rocket carrying 10 satellites, including India’s radar imaging satellite and nine other foreign satellites, launched from the first launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh at 3.12 p.m.

Very Special, Unusual Mission: Sivan

This is the first space mission for ISRO from India in 2020. On 17 January 2020, ISRO had successfully launched the telecommunication satellite GSAT-30, but that was done using an Ariane rocket launched from Kourou launch base in French Guyana.

“This mission is very special and unusual for ISRO. The space activity cannot be done from 'work from home'. Each engineer has to be present at the lab. When talking about missions like these, each technician, employee has to work together,” ISRO chief K Sivan said, in a statement after the launch.

He also added that despite the pandemic, the ISRO team had risen to the occasion while obeying COVID guidelines.

“It's really heartening to see all ISRO employees doing quality work at this time,” Sivan said.

‘Another Feather in Cap’: Leader Extend Congratulations

After the launch on Saturday, many leaders extended their best wishes to ISRO, saying it was a remarkable feat showing the commitment and the consistency of the team at ISRO which had continued its work amid the pandemic.

What Are the Satellites For?

The primary passenger of the 44.5 metre tall PSLV-C49 will be the Indian radar imaging satellite EOS-01 (formerly RISAT-2BR2) with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) that can shoot pictures in all weather conditions.

The satellite can take pictures day and night and will be useful for surveillance as well as civilian activities.

The nine foreign satellites that would piggyback are from: Lithuania (1-technology demonstrator), Luxembourg (4 maritime application satellites by Kleos Space) and the US (4-Lemur multi mission remote sensing satellites).

If all goes well with the Saturday rocketing of PSLV-C49 then the Indian space agency would have slung a total of 328 foreign satellites, all for a fee. This time around, ISRO will be using the PSLV rocket's DL variant that will have two strap-on booster motors. This rocket variant was used the first time to put the Microsat R satellite into orbit on 24 January, 2019.

The PSLV is a four stage/engine rocket powered by solid and liquid fuels alternatively with six booster motors strapped on to the first stage to give higher thrust during the initial flight moments.

PSLV-C50 On The Cards

After PSLV-C49, the next one to fly will be PSLV-C50 with the GSAT-12R satellite. It will fly from the second launch pad, S Somanath, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), had told IANS earlier.

“We are targeting PSLV-C50 sometime in December. It needs about 30 days to get ready for another launch after one launch.”
S Somanath, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) 

The other Indian satellites that are ready for launch are GISAT, Microsat-2A and GSAT-12R. The launch of the GISAT-1 satellite slated for 5 March this year was postponed due to technical reasons a day before the launch.

“The GISAT-1 satellite will be carried by a GSLV rocket. The GSLV rocket was dismantled after the launch was called off. The rocket is being refurbished. The rocket's cryogenic engine has been brought down and it is being readied again,” Somanath had said.

According to him, the GSLV carrying GISAT-1 is expected to fly after PSLV-C50. Somanath also said that the ISRO has developed a Virtual Launch Control Centre to test the rocket systems at the rocket port in Sriharikota remotely from the Thiruvananthapuram-based VSSC.

“With COVID-19 pandemic prevailing, the Indian space agency in order to reduce the number of people travelling to Sriharikota, has developed a Virtual Launch Control Centre at VSSC. As a result, the testing of various rocket systems is being done at VSSC.”
S Somanath, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) 

The physical launch control centre is located in the building, housing the Mission Control Centre in Sriharikota and the systems there have been replicated at the VSSC in the form of a virtual launch control centre.

(With inputs from IANS)

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