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Oceansat And 8 Satellites Launched Today: The scientists of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) are going to launch the Earth observation satellite ‘OceanSat’ and eight other customer satellites on the PSLV-C54 rocket from Sriharikota spaceport on Saturday i.e. today. For this, the countdown has started from Friday.

The 25-30 hour countdown for the 56th flight of the extended version of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) (PSLV-XL) is scheduled for lift-off from the first launchpad at Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, 115 km from Chennai, on Saturday at 11:56 am today. Started at 10:26.

The rocket’s primary payload is an OceanSat that will be separated into Orbit-1. The other eight nano-satellites will be placed in different orbits, such as sun-synchronous polar orbits, based on customer requirements. The nine satellites with the initial payload will piggyback on the 44.4-meter-high PSLV-C54 with a mass of 321 tonnes. This is the 24th flight of the PSLV-XL version.

This mission is one of the longest missions conducted by ISRO scientists which will employ the rocket to change orbit using the two-orbit change thrusters (OCTs) used on the PSLV-C54 launch vehicle. Earth observation satellites will separate in orbit 1 and passenger payloads in orbit 2, scientists said. The Earth observation satellite will be deployed about 20 minutes after launch when it reaches an altitude of about 742 km.

After the initial satellite separation, the vehicle will be brought down to an altitude of 516 km to deploy the first passenger satellite, ISRO said. Scientists are hopeful that the final payload separation will occur at an altitude of 528 km.

Details about the 8 satellites to be launched apart from Oceans:

  • Earth Observation Satellite-6 is the third generation satellite in the Oceans series. It will be used to service the continuation of the OceanSat-2 spacecraft through enhanced payload specifications as well as to service application areas. The objective of this mission is to ensure the consistency of ocean color and wind vector data to sustain operational applications.
  • The customer payload includes the ISRO Nano Satellite-2 (INS-2B) for Bhutan which will have two payloads, the NanoMx and the APRS-Digipeater. NanoMx is a multispectral optical imaging payload developed by the Space Applications Center. On the other hand, the APRS-Digipeater payload is jointly developed by Bhutan’s Department of Information Technology and Telecom and UR Rao Satellite Centre, Bangalore.
  • The ‘Anand’ satellite is made by Pixel. It is a technology demonstrator that demonstrates the capabilities and commercial application of miniature Earth observation cameras for monitoring using a micro-satellite in low Earth orbit.
  • ‘Thiebolt’ (2 satellites) is another space start-up from Dhruva Space.
  • Astrocast is a technology demonstration satellite for the Internet of Things as a payload from Spaceflight, the United States.


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