Launch of PSLV C-16 successful: ISRO Chairman

The seventeenth consecutive successful flight of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV C-16 has placed India’s latest remote sensing satellite Resourcesat-2, in a Polar Sun Synchronous orbit.

The mission control centre at Sriharikota burst into a loud applause and jubilation as the rocket blasted off in a southerly direction in a perfect predetermined flight trajectory. All flight parameters were normal.

About 1037 seconds after lift-off, the Resourcesat-2 got separated from the launch vehicle and was injected into the orbit.

A few minutes later, ISRO Chairman Dr Radhakrishnan declared the launch successful. He thanked Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh for the support lent to ISRO. Minister of State in PMO, V Narayanaswamy, present in the mission centre congratulated ISRO for the success. Indo-Russian satellites called Youthsat and a micro-satellite from Singapore were also launched in this mission.

This is the eighteenth mission of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle and the eleventh flight that employs standard configuration. In its standard configuration, the PSLV stands 44.4 meters tall and weighs 295 tons. It has 4 stages using solid and liquid propulsion systems alternately.

The first stage, also known as the core stage carries 138 tons of solid propellant is one of the largest solid propellant boosters in the world. Six solid propellant strap-on motors are strapped on to the core stage. The second stage carries 41 tons of liquid propellant while the third stage uses 7.6 tons of solid propellant. The fourth stage has a twin engine configuration with 2.5 tons of liquid propellant. The PSLV has sophisticated systems to control the vehicle and guide it through the predetermined trajectory. The PSLV C-16 carries Advanced Mission Computers and Advanced Telemetry Systems.

The Resourcesat -2 is India’s latest remote sensing satellite weighs 1206kg at lift-off. It has three cameras for high, medium and low resolution. The high resolution Linear Imaging Self Scanner, LISS-4 has a spatial resolution of 5.8 m and an enhanced swath of 70km. The medium resolution LISS-3 has a spatial resolution of 23.5m while the coarse resolution Advanced Wide Field Sensor has a spatial resolution of 56 m.

The Resourcesat-2 also has an additional experimental payload called Automatic Identification System for ship surveillance. The satellite also has two solid state recorders to store the images taken by its cameras which can be read out later to ground stations. It will have an orbital period of 101.35 minutes with 14 orbits per day. The local time of equator crossing is 10:30 AM and has an expected mission life of 5 years.

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