The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched nine satellites, including an Earth Observation Satellite (EOS-06), into different orbits using the space agency’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle in one of its longest missions (PSLV-C54). The vehicle lifted off precisely at 11.56 a.m. on Saturday from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), SHAR’s first launch pad (FLP).
ISRO Nano Satellite-2 for Bhutan (INS-2B), Anand, Astrocast (four satellites), and two Thybolt spacecraft are among the eight nano satellites. Notably, EOS-6 is the third-generation satellite in the Oceansat family. This is the 56th mission of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and the 24th flight of the PSLV-XL variant, which includes six PSOM-Xl satellites.
EOS-06 is designed to collect ocean colour data, sea surface temperature data, and wind vector data for use in oceanography, climatology, and meteorology. Additionally, the satellite supports value-added products such as potential fishing zones based on chlorophyll, SST, and wind speed, as well as land-based geophysical parameters.
According to ISRO Chairman S.Somanath, the mission has been completed and all satellites have been injected into their designated orbits. “The India-Bhutan satellite constitutes a crucial turning point in the history of joint cooperation between Indian and Bhutanese scientists in the creation of this spacecraft with two payloads,” said the Indian Space Agency.
“Today we have reached a historic milestone in India’s bi-lateral cooperation with Bhutan,” remarked External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar. As two great friends and neighbours, the two-year combined work of a devoted team of ISRO and Bhutanese space engineers and scientists culminated today in the launch of this satellite.” He also stated that ISRO is collaborating with Bhutan to develop a ground station in Thimphu.
In Orbit-1, the primary satellite (EOS-06) was detached. Following that, the orbit was modified using two Orbit Change Thrusters (OCTs) installed in the PSLV-C54 Vehicle’s Propulsion Bay Ring. Later, all seven commercial satellites from NSIL were successfully deployed. Astrocast, a 3U spacecraft from Spaceflight Inc in the United States, was separated.
The Thybolt, a 0.5U spacecraft bus with a communication payload to enable quick technology demonstration and constellation development for numerous users from Dhruva Space using their own Orbital Deployer with a minimum lifetime of one year, was then placed in the target orbit. The Pixxel, India-based Anand three-axis stabilised nano satellite, a technological demonstration for miniaturised electro-optical payload and all other sub-systems such as TTC, power, onboard computer, and ADCS, was also launched into space.
The India-Bhutan Sat was also successfully deployed. The INS-2B satellite, a cooperative mission between India and Bhutan, contains two payloads: NanoMx, a multispectral optical imaging payload developed by Space Applications Centre (SAC), and APRS-Digipeater, built collaboratively by DITT-Bhutan and URSC.
In 2023, there will be a slew of launches.
Mr. Somanath went on to say that ISRO plans to launch a lot of satellites in 2023. “ISRO is also planning a trip to the sun with its satellite Aditya-L1, a coronagraphy spacecraft to examine the solar atmosphere, next year,” he said. The space agency will also launch a navigation satellite for the country’s NavIC network. “The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) wants to launch four NavIC satellites, the first of which will be launched in 2023.”
Meanwhile, 10,342 people watched the live launch from the open view gallery at SDSC SHAR in Sriharikota. Thousands of students from Tamil Nadu, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and other parts of India gathered at ISRO to witness the launch of this rocket.