India sends three satellites into orbit
Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh: In a boost to India's remote sensing capability, the PSLV C-16 rocket Wednesday launched Resourcesat-2 and two other satellites from here.
On a bright morning at 10.12 am, the Indian Space Research Organisation's Rs900 million (Dh73.4 million) rocket — the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C-16 — soared towards the skies to place in orbit Resourcesat-2 and two other satellites, together weighing 1,404 kg.
Apart from its main cargo — advanced earth observation satellite Resourcesat-2 — the rocket also carried two mini satellites — the 92 kg joint India-Russian Youthsat satellite for stellar and atmospheric studies and the 106 kg X-sat for imaging applications built by the Singapore-based Nanyang Technological University.
Just over 18 minutes after the blast-off, the rocket ejected Resourcesat-2 and followed it up with the other two. Sriharikota is 80 km north of Tamil Nadu capital Chennai.
Immediately after the ejections, Isro with its network of ground stations monitored the health of the three satellites. "I am extremely happy to announce the Resourcesat mission is a success. We are extremely grateful to the Prime Minister [Manmohan Singh] for all his encouragement," Isro Chairman K. Radhakrishnan said.
Built to last for five years, the Rs1.4 billion Resourcesat-2 will augment Isro's remote sensing data services. It will replace Resourcesat-1 sent up in 2003.