In a major feat for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the Indian space agency put eight satellites into two different orbits on Monday. This is the first time that India has deployed satellites in two different orbits during a single launch. PSLV-C35 was launched on Monday at 9:12 am from the First Launch Pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre at ISRO’s Sriharikota facility. The five foreign satellites were ALSAT-1B, ALSAT-2B, ALSAT-1N from Algeria, NLS-19 from Canada and Pathfinder-1 from USA. The SCATSAT-1 was put in the 730-km altitude Polar Sun Synchronous Orbit while the others were deployed in the 670-km altitude polar orbit.
According to ISRO, India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle in its 37th flight (C-35) put eight satellites into orbit out of which five are foreign. The primary payload of the PSLV was India’s 371-kg SCATSAT-1 satellite for weather monitoring and weather-related studies. The other Indian satellites were Pratham, built by the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, and PISAT, built by PES University in Bangalore.
WATCH VIDEO: 5 Things To Know About ISRO PSLV SCATSAT-1 Launch
The success of the launch boosts ISRO’s credentials as one of the leading commercial carriers for satellite launches globally. The PSLV now has an enviable record of 33 consecutive successful missions.
Over the years, the satellite launch industry has grown more competitive. European Space Agency has taken huge strides and so has the Japanese JAXA. French-based Arianespace commands over 50 per cent of the satellite launch market and Elon Musk’s SpaceX, with its reusable Falcon launch vehicles, has tremendously changed the price parameter in the launch market.
Now, double orbit deployment capability of ISRO reduces the cost of satellite deployment as it will remove the requirement of two separate launch operations. So profit increases with a boost in business and price-efficient operation.
ISRO draws majority of its revenues from satellite launch services by its commercial arm– Antrix Corporation. To reclaim lost ground, ISRO has to reinvent itself regularly. Over the years, it has decreased the per kg payload launch prices and has forayed into the development of reusable launch vehicles. Its amazingly successful PSLV vehicle boasts a safe launch record that acts as an effective and luring selling proposition.
Space technology is the next step in providing multiple services to governments, companies and the people as well. Globally, space has been a fiercely competitive arena. The range of satellite uses now include weather monitoring, disaster alert, remote sensing to seek out mineral resources, surveillance, communication, exploration, specialised satellites for telemedicine, rural education, internet connectivity and countless other uses. Countries and companies both now look to space to develop a new range of services and tap on space as a more efficient channel for their operations.