The fuelling of the second stage of the Indian rocket that would sling
seven satellites into space has been completed and it is expected to
lift off around 6 p.m. Monday, an official of the Indian space agency
President Pranab Mukherjee is slated to witness the launch of
the first of the 10 space missions planned by the Indian Space Research
Organisation (ISRO) in 2013.
The 44.4-metre tall Polar Satellite
Launch Vehicle-C20 (PSLV-C20) rocket, with a lift-off weight of 229.7
tonnes, will sling into orbit seven satellites - one Indo-French and six
The seven satellites together weigh 668.5 kg.
The entire flight sequence - lift-off to the ejection of the seventh
satellite at an altitude of 794 km above the earth - will take around 22
The successful launch of the satellites will take ISRO's
tally of launching foreign satellites to 35. ISRO started putting into
space third-party satellites for a fee in 1999 on its PSLV-C2 rocket.
then India has been successful in launching medium-weight satellites
for overseas agencies. Initially ISRO started carrying third-party
satellite atop PSLC rockets as co-passengers of its own remote
sensing/earth observation satellites.
Later in 2007, ISRO launched an Italian satellite Agile as a standalone luggage for a fee.
began its space journey in 1975 with the launch of Aryabhatta using a
Russian rocket and till date, it has completed 100 missions.
Monday, the PSLV-C20 rocket will carry the 407 kg Indo-French satellite
SARAL (Satellite with ARGOS and ALTIKA) as the primary luggage and six
other satellites as piggy-back.
The SARAL will study the sea surface heights and the data generated will be shared by both the countries.
to ISRO, the SARAL satellite is the first under the Indian
mini-satellite bus-series 2 configured for 400 kg satellites.
Indian space agency states this satellite frame is envisaged to be the
workhorse for different types of operational missions in the coming
The other six satellites the PSLV-C20 would carry are two
Canadian satellite NEOSSat (Near Earth Object Space Surveillance
Satellite), the world's first space telescope designed by Canadian Space
Agency (CSA), and Sapphire satellite built by MacDonald, Dettwiler and
Associates (MDA), BRITE and UniBRITE (both Austria), STRaND-1 (Britain)
and AAUSAT (Denmark).
The STRaND-1 (Surrey Training, Research, and
Nanosatellite Demonstrator) is the world's first 'smart phone
satellite' carrying Google Nexus One phone running on Android operating
The 6.5 kg satellite is a Britain mission, jointly
developed by the University of Surrey's Surrey Space Centre (SSC) and
Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL).
The phone will run several applications, including collection of data and take pictures of the earth with its camera.
all the satellites' own operating systems have been checked out, key
system functions will be transferred to the phone's components to take
control and operate the satellite, said SSTL on its website.
to the CPA, the satellite NEOSS at will detect and track asteroids and
satellites circling the globe every 100 minutes and scanning space near
the Sun to pinpoint otherwise almost invisible asteroids.
The satellite will also be useful in tracking resident space objects, including space debris.
the other hand, Sapphire will look for resident space objects that
include functioning satellites and space debris circling between 6,000
km and 40,000 km above the earth.