Sriharikota (AP), February 14: The Indian Space Research Organisation on Monday successfully placed its earth observation satellite EOS-04 and two small satellites into the intended orbit, its first launch mission in 2022.
Following a smooth countdown of 25 hours and 30 minutes, the workhorse launch vehicle, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C52) with the three satellites onboard blasted off at 5.59 am from here amid dark, early morning skies.
ISRO said the important flight events — stage and strap-on ignitions, heat shield separation, stages and strap-on separation and satellite injection — took place exactly as planned.
It said after a flight of about 17 minutes, 34 seconds, the three satellites — EOS-04, INSPIREsat-1 and INST-2TD — were injected successfully into a sun-synchronous polar orbit of 529 km, and the orbit achieved for the satellites is “very close” to the intended orbits.
After the separation, the two solar arrays of EOS-04 deployed automatically and ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) at Bengaluru, assumed the control of the satellite, it said, adding that, in the coming days the satellite will be brought to its final operational configuration following which it will begin to provide the data.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted congratulating space scientists on the successful launch of PSLV C52 mission.
“The mission of PSLV-C52/EOS-04 has been successfully accomplished. The primary satellite EOS-04 has been put into a very precise orbit by PSLV-C52, and along with that, co-passenger satellites INSPIREsat-1 and INS-2TD also have been placed into right orbit,” ISRO Chairman S Somanath said.
Today’s launch also happens to be the first mission after Somanath took over as the Secretary, Department of Space and Chairman, Space Commission, recently.
Thanking everyone for making the mission possible, he said: “This spacecraft is going to be one of the biggest assets for us to serve the country.”
Mission Director S R Biju said, “What we have accomplished today is really marvellous.”
Satellite Director Srikanth said the health of EOS-04 is perfectly fine, after the separation, and the solar panels are deployed autonomously after injection and started generating the desired power.
“In a couple of days after calibration and braking for outgassing, the satellite will be ready to deliver the glimpse of images. The services will be an integral part of many governmental services. EOS-04 has taken a small step in the nation’s dream of opening the space sector with industry participation in the form of build to print and also assemble and test. We have fairly succeeded in our effort,” he said.
This was the 80th launch vehicle mission from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota; 54th flight of PSLV; and the 23rd flight of PSLV in XL configuration (6 strap-on motors).
EOS-04, weighing 1,710 kg and with a mission life of 10 years, is a radar imaging satellite designed to provide high quality images under all weather conditions for applications such as agriculture, forestry and plantations, soil moisture and hydrology and flood mapping.
The satellite realised at U R Rao Satellite Centre, Bengaluru, generates 2,280 W power.
Co-passenger satellites INSPIREsat-1 and INS-2TD were successfully separated from the PSLV in a predetermined sequence.
INSPIREsat-1 is from Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) in association with Laboratory of Atmospheric and Space Physics at University of Colorado Boulder, while INS-2TD is a technology demonstrator satellite from ISRO. This is a precursor to the India-Bhutan Joint Satellite (INS-2B).
Two scientific payloads on INSPIREsat-1, with a mass of 8.1 kg and mission life of one year, are aimed at improving the understanding of ionosphere dynamics and the sun’s coronal heating processes.
INS-2TD, with a mass of 17.5 kg, has a mission life of six months. Having a thermal imaging camera as its payload, the satellite benefits the assessment of land surface temperature, water surface temperature of wetland or lakes, delineation of vegetation (crops and forest) and thermal inertia (day and night). (PTI)