ISRO To Launch Oceansat, and 8 Other Customer Satellites Tomorrow Morning

Chennai: Scientists of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) commenced the countdown on Friday for the launch of Earth Observation Satellite – Oceansat – and eight other customer satellites on a PSLV-C54 rocket from the space center of Sriharikota on Saturday.

The 25.30-hour countdown for the 56th flight of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), in its extended version (PSLV-XL), began at 10:26 am today for the lift-off scheduled at 11:56 am on Saturday from the first launchpad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, which is 115 km away from Chennai.

The primary payload of the rocket is an Oceansat which would be separated in orbit-1 while the eight other nanosatellites would be put in different orbits based on the customer’s requirements (in the Sun-synchronous polar orbits).

Including the essential payload, nine satellites would ride piggy-back on the 44.4-meter high PSLV-C54 which has a lift-off mass of 321 tones. It is also the 24th flight of the PSLV-XL version.

The mission would be one of the longest ones undertaken by the ISRO scientists who would engage the rocket to change orbits utilizing two-orbit change thrusters (OCTs) used in the PSLV-C54 launch vehicle. The partition of the Earth Observation Satellite is supposed to take place in orbit-1 while the passenger payloads would be parted in Orbit-2.

The Earth Observation Satellite is expected to be placed after arriving at an altitude of about 742 km about 20 minutes after lift-off. After the primary satellite separation, the vehicle would be lowered to reach an altitude of 516 km for putting the first passenger satellite. The last payload separation is expected to take place at an altitude of 528 km, ISRO said.

The Earth Observation Satellite-6 is the third-generation satellite in the Oceansat series. This is to give continuity services of Oceansat-2 spacecraft with upgraded payload specifications as well as application areas. The objective of the mission is to ensure data continuity of ocean color and wind vector information to sustain operational applications.

The customer payloads include ISRO Nano Satellite-2 for Bhutan (INS-2B) which would have two payloads namely NanoMx and APRS-Digipeater. NanoMx is a multispectral optical imaging payload developed by the Space Applications Centre while the APRS-Digipeater payload is jointly evolved by the Department of Information Technology and Telecom, Bhutan, and U R Rao Satellite Centre, Bengaluru. The ‘Anand’ satellite developed by Pixxel is a technology demonstrator to show the capabilities and commercial applications of a miniature earth observation camera for observation using a micro-satellite in low earth orbit.

The ‘Thybolt’ (two satellites) is from another space start-up Dhruva Space while Astrocast is a technology demonstrator satellite for the internet of things as the payload from Spaceflight, the United States of America.

By Archana

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