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ISRO's New Satellite Launch Indicative of India's Thriving Space Industry

Sep 28, 2016 08:21 AM EDT

India has marked its place is the global space industry as ISRO successfully launched its eighth satellite in orbit.

"Our space scientists keep scripting history," India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his glee in a Tweet over India's success in successfully launching eight satellites into space.

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) just accomplished not one but two new records this month.  ISRO successfully launched a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from Andhra Pradesh with eight satellites onboard. PSLV is carrying three satellites from India and Algeria, and one each from the U.S. and Canada. The second feat is that the rocket deployed the satellites in two different orbits.

PSLV accomplished what experts call a "multi-orbital" launch, this means the spacecraft will deploy satellites in two different orbits. A feat that is not very easy to execute.

"This is a challenging two-in-one mission which puts India in a unique league of nations having the capability to achieve two different orbits in a single mission," ISRO chairman AS Kiran Kumar said in an interview.

To do this, the spacecraft will use multiple burn technology. While initiating multiple burns, the engine of PSLV will systematically turn off and hibernate before restarting again. Aside from performing a multi-orbital maneuver, the PSLV will also survive the longest flight time of two hours and 15 minutes while carrying 675 kilograms of the total weight of its entire satellite payload. During the mission, the rocket restarted twice making it the longest launch conducted by ISRO, according to a report.

According to ISRO, the complexity of this mission, of deploying satellite payloads in two different orbits, puts India on a map together with nations of top space technologies with the capability to execute such undertaking.

One of the most notable satellite payloads of PSLV is India's SCATSAT-1. This satellite will be used for weather forecasting and tracking for the duration of five years. The destination of SCATSAT-1 is at an altitude of 730 kilometers, while the rest will be placed at approximately 689 kilometers.

While the other two Indian satellites are from local colleges, the Pratham and PiSat satellites. The Indian Institute of Technology developed Pratham while the PiSat nanosatellite is the brainchild of PES Institute of Technology Bengaluru.


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