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India launches PSLV-C5 rocket successfully

Press Trust of India

Posted: Oct 17, 2003 at 1215 hrs IST

India's workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C5 on Friday successfully injected into orbit Resourcesat-1, the country's most sophisticated and heaviest remote sensing satellite, from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

In a "copy book launch" which took place at 1022 hrs, IST well within the set launch window the four stage 44.4 metre tall, 294 tonne PSLV-C5 hurled the 1360 kg satellite into an 817 km high Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO), over 17 minutes after the perfect lift-off, amidst heavy rains.

The entire ISRO team at SDSC cheered and hugged each other in celebration when the 10-year-old PSLV completed its eighth successful mission in a row and this time proving its prowess to launch heavier satellites.

Resourcesat is meant to be a follow on satellite for earth observation that will provide continuity to IRS-1C and 1D which have already outlived their designated lifespan and will enhance the service capabilities of in the areas of agriculture, disaster management and related fields.

PSLV which was originally designed to carry a pay load of only 1000 kg had undergone modifications over the years enhancing its payload capacity and capability to launch multiple payloads and place satellites even into geosynchronous orbit.

PSLV has also been tipped for ISRO's ambitious unmanned moon mission "Chandrayaan-1".

Immediately after the launch, ISRO chairman Madhavan Nair said that the ISRO team has made the country proud by launching the most sophisticated spacecraft ever built for the precise orbit.

He said that it was also a great achievement as it was the first launch in such an inclement weather.

"The credit goes to the ISRO for its remarkable achievement," he said while congratulating the team members for the successful launch.

Resourcesat-1 (IRS-P6), The single payload on board PSLV-C5 is the most advanced remote sensing satellite built by ISRO so far and the 10th one in the IRS series.

It carries a high resolution Linear Imaging Self Scanner (LISS-4) operating in spectral bands in the Visible and Near Infra-Red Region, one medium resolution liss-3 operating in spectral bands in VNIR and one in Short Wave Infrared (SWIR) band.

The satellite is also equipped with an Advanced Wide Field Sensor (AWIFS) operating in three spectral bands in VNIR and one band in SWIR.

It also carries a solid state recorder with a capacity of 120 GIGA bits to store the images taken by its cameras which can be read out later to various ground stations.

According to ISRO sources, Resourcesat will be followed by Cartosat-1 (IRS-P5) that will provide a 2.5 metre spatial resolution stereo imagery using two panchromatic cameras.

Cartosat-1, scheduled to be launched by 2004-05, is intended to provide terrain height information and will considerably improve the contour information for developmental applications of relevance to urban management and other applications.

Another remote sensing satellite, Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT) carrying C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) presently under development by ISRO and planned for launch in 2006 will enhance all weather remote sensing capability in areas of agriculture and disaster management.

The Indian Remote Sensing satellite (IRS) launched by India so far are IRS-1A in March 1988, followed by IRS-1B in August 1991, IRS-P2 In October 1994, IRS-1C in December 1995, IRS-P3 in March 1996, IRS-1D in September 1997 and IRS-P4 In may 1997. A technology experiment satellite was launched in October 2001 for evaluating advance remote sensing technologies.

Except IRS-1A, IRS-1B and IRS-1C all other Indian remote sensing satellites have been launched by PSLV, which also carried four small satellites for international customers.

The first stage of the PSLV-C5 rocket launched on Friday is one of the largest solid propellant boosters in the world and carries 138 tonnes of hydroxyl terminated poly butadiene propellant.

The last launch of PSLV was in September 2002 when it launched Kalpana-1, an exclusive meteorological satellite.

Thirty seven Indian satellites have been deployed so far of which 17 were put into orbit by ISRO's own SLV-3S, augmented SLVS (ASLV), Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles (PSLVS) and the latest Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicles (GSLVS) from the Sriharikota space Port, in Andhra Pradesh.

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