ISRO Scores a Centum

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ISRO Scores a Centum

A Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle ( PSLV-C21 ) blasted off from here on Sunday and placed two foreign satellites in orbit, accomplishing the Indian Space Research Organisation’s 100 {+t} {+h} mission, a milestone in the country’s space journey.

After a 51-hour countdown, the PSLV lifted off at 9.53 a.m., two minutes behind schedule, to avoid any collision with space debris.

In the textbook launch, it carried SPOT-6, a 712-kg French earth observation satellite and injected it into an orbit of 655-km altitude, inclined at 98.23 degrees to the equator. Proiteres, a 15-kg Japanese microsatellite, was put into orbit as an additional payload.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and a host of dignitaries watched the flight path on electronic screens, as the 44 – metre tall PSLV accomplished its task, reinforcing the fact that it is the ISRO’s workhorse, with 21 successful missions in a row.

The four – stage ignition and the injection of the satellites into the orbit took 18 minutes and 37 seconds. As Proiteres separated at the final moment, the scientists erupted into joyous applause.

SPOT – 6, an optical remote – sensing satellite capable of imaging the earth with a 1.5 – metre resolution, is built by Astrium SAS, a European space technology company.

Proiteres is meant to study the powered – flight of a small satellite by an electric thruster and to observe Japan’s Kansai district with a high-resolution camera.

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