The piggybacks include satellites from two Indian startups - Syzygy Space Technologies Pvt Ltd and Hyderabad-based Dhruva Space.

The PSLV taking off from ISRO SriharikotaImage Courtesy: FB/ ISRO
news Science Saturday, November 26, 2022 - 17:45

India on Saturday successfully placed into orbit the Indo-French ocean observation satellite EOS 06 and eight other nano satellites with its rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle numbered as PSLV-C54. Announcing the mission's success, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman and Secretary, Department of Space, S. Somanath, said all the satellites have been launched.

The ISRO Chairman also said the solar panels of EOS 06 satellite had been deployed and the satellite was in precise orbit as intended and congratulated the ISRO team. The XL variant of PSLV rocket carrying the 1,117 kg EOS-6 as its primary passenger and eight others - blasted off from the first launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) at 11.56 a.m.

The piggybacks include satellites from two Indian startups - Syzygy Space Technologies Pvt Ltd, commonly known as Pixxel (Anand-16.51 kg), and Dhruvaspace's two Thybolt satellites - 1.45 kg, Spaceflight USA's Astrosat (four numbers 17.92 kg) and ISRO's INS-2B (18.28 kg).

About 17 minutes into the flight the rocket ejected EOS-6. Then the orbit was changed by using two Orbit Change Thrusters introduced in the rocket's propulsion bay ring. The piggyback passengers were ejected in Orbit-2.

The whole mission took about two hours. With this, the PSLV rocket has put into orbit 349 foreign satellites till date.

When one takes into account the 36 satellites of UK-based OneWeb that were orbited by another rocket LVM3 this year, then the total number of foreign satellites put into orbit by ISRO would go up to 385.

At the end of the final countdown, the four stage expendable, 44.4 m tall XL variant of PSLV rocket weighing 321 ton slowly rose towards the skies with thick orange flame at its tail. The rocket gained speed as it went up while emitting a rolling thunder sound.

The PSLV rocket is powered by solid (first and third stages) and liquid (second and fourth stages) fuels alternatively. The rocket that flew on Saturday was the 56th mission of PSLV and 24th mission using the PSLV-XL variant having six strap-on booster motors with six ton fuel.

According to France, ARGOS will reinforce the existing fleet of Indo-French satellites working on weather surveillance that are already in orbit (MEGHA-TROPIQUES and SARAL-ALTIKA), thus enhancing contributions related to the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

The Indian space agency said the satellite will ensure data continuity of ocean colour and wind vector data to sustain the operational applications. It will also improve the applications, some additional datasets such as Sea Surface Temperature and more bands in Optical region for fluorescence and in Infrared region for atmospheric corrections are accommodated.

The satellite will also develop/improve related algorithms and data products to serve in well-established application areas and to enhance the mission utility.

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