At 9:12am, Monday, the Indian Space Research Organisation launched PSLV’s longest flight SCATSAT-1 carrying 8 satellites, its longest mission yet. With a mission time of over two hours and fifteen minutes and a 320-tonne rocket carrying five satellites from foreign countries and three Indian ones, it is also their most complex.
The main cargo for the 37th Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle will be the 371 kg, 120 crore SCATSAT-1 for weather forecasting, cyclone detection and tracking.
Algeria has sent three, Canada and the US have sent one satellite each. Pratham is built by the Indian Institute of Technology of IIT-Bombay and PISAT is from PES University, Bengaluru and its consortium. Pratham’s (10kg) objective is to estimate Total Electron Count, whereas PISAT’s (5.25kg) objective is to design and develop a nanosatellite for remote sensing applications.
What makes this launch special and takes India’s capabilities into a different league is that the payloads will be launched in two different orbits. After SCATSAT-1 is put into orbit, the rocket will shut down.
According to ISRO’s latest update, SCATSAT-1 has been successfully launched. The separation of the remaining 7 satellites expected to occur between 11.25 and 11.28 IST, today.