By Venkatachari Jagannathan
Sriharikota (Andhra Pradesh), Feb 15 (IANS) Indian rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) on Wednesday morning lifted off successfully with a record 104 satellites, including the country’s earth observation satellite Cartosat-2 series.
The PSLV-XL variant rocket standing 44.4 metre tall and weighing 320 ton tore into the morning skies at 9.28 a.m. with a deep throated growl breaking free of the earth’s gravitational pull.
The earth observation satellite Cartosat-2 series weighs 714 kg.
The co-passenger satellites comprise 101 nano satellites, one each from Israel, Kazakhstan, The Netherlands, Switzerland, the UAE and 96 from the US, as well as two nano satellites from India.
The total weight of all the satellites carried on-board is about 1,378 kg.
By the 28th minute of the rocket’s mission all the 104 satellites would be put into orbit.
The PSLV rocket is a four stage/engine rocket powered by solid and liquid fuel alternatively.
“The Cartosat satellite is the fourth one in the Cartosat-2 series of earth observation satellites. Already three are in the orbit and two more will be launched. Once all the six Cartosat-2 series satellites are launched the Cartosat-3 series would begin,” an ISRO official told IANS preferring anonymity.
(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)