Launch of PSLV C-16 successful: ISRO Chairman
(Source: India.gov.in; issued April 20, 2011)
The seventeenth consecutive successful flight of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV C-16 has placed India’s latest remote sensing satellite Resourcesat-2, in a Polar Sun Synchronous orbit.

The mission control centre at Sriharikota burst into a loud applause and jubilation as the rocket blasted off in a southerly direction in a perfect predetermined flight trajectory. All flight parameters were normal.

About 1037 seconds after lift-off, the Resourcesat-2 got separated from the launch vehicle and was injected into the orbit.

A few minutes later, ISRO Chairman Dr Radhakrishnan declared the launch successful. He thanked Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh for the support lent to ISRO. Minister of State in PMO, V Narayanaswamy, present in the mission centre congratulated ISRO for the success. Indo-Russian satellites called Youthsat and a micro-satellite from Singapore were also launched in this mission.

This is the eighteenth mission of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle and the eleventh flight that employs standard configuration. In its standard configuration, the PSLV stands 44.4 meters tall and weighs 295 tons. It has 4 stages using solid and liquid propulsion systems alternately.

The first stage, also known as the core stage carries 138 tons of solid propellant is one of the largest solid propellant boosters in the world. Six solid propellant strap-on motors are strapped on to the core stage. The second stage carries 41 tons of liquid propellant while the third stage uses 7.6 tons of solid propellant. The fourth stage has a twin engine configuration with 2.5 tons of liquid propellant. The PSLV has sophisticated systems to control the vehicle and guide it through the predetermined trajectory. The PSLV C-16 carries Advanced Mission Computers and Advanced Telemetry Systems.

The Resourcesat -2 is India’s latest remote sensing satellite weighs 1206kg at lift-off. It has three cameras for high, medium and low resolution. The high resolution Linear Imaging Self Scanner, LISS-4 has a spatial resolution of 5.8 m and an enhanced swath of 70km. The medium resolution LISS-3 has a spatial resolution of 23.5m while the coarse resolution Advanced Wide Field Sensor has a spatial resolution of 56 m.

The Resourcesat-2 also has an additional experimental payload called Automatic Identification System for ship surveillance. The satellite also has two solid state recorders to store the images taken by its cameras which can be read out later to ground stations. It will have an orbital period of 101.35 minutes with 14 orbits per day. The local time of equator crossing is 10:30 AM and has an expected mission life of 5 years. (ends)



PSLV Launch Successful, Satellites Injected Into Orbit
(Source: ddi Indian government news; issued April 20, 2011)
PSLV-C16 rocket carrying India's Resourcesat-2 that would study and help manage natural resources and two nano satellites, launched successfully into orbit from Sriharikota, over 90 km from Chennai.

ISRO's homegrown workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle placed in a 'Polar Sun Synchronous Orbit' Resourcesat-2, Youthsat and X-Sat about 18 minutes after it blasted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre launch pad in Sriharikota,at 10.12 am.

"PSLV-C16 Resourcesat-2 mission is successful," a jubilant Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman K Radhakrishnan announced shortly after all the three satellites were hurled into space one after another 822 km above earth in a text book launch.

The ISRO chief's announcement was cheered by the battery of scientists at the mission control centre who heaved a sigh of relief as they were gripped by an added anxiety following two successive failures of GSLV missions last year.

The 1,206 kg Resourcesat-2 with a space life of five years replaces Resourcesat-1 launched in 2003 and would provide data with enhanced multispectral and spatial coverage on natural resources.

The GSLV mission in December last year failed when the homegrown GSLV F06 carrying communication satellite GSAT-5P exploded mid-air less than a minute after lift-off and fell into the Bay of Bengal.GSAT-5P, carrying 24 C-band and 12 extended C-band transponders, plunged into the sea when the destruct command was issued as the rocket veered from its flight path.

Earlier, the GSLV-D3 mission carrying GSAT-4 had also failed in April 2010, dealing a blow to India's space programme.

Wednesday's PSLV flight was its 17th successive mission after the failure of its maiden voyage in September 1993.

Besides Resourscesat-2, the PSLV rocket also launched Youthsat, weighing 92 kg, a joint Indo-Russian nanosatellite for stellar and atmospheric studies. The third satellite was 106-kg X-sat, an image applications spacecraft built by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. This is the first time, ISRO is launching a Singapore-built satellite.

Radhakrishnan said the launch of two foreign satellites showed the PSLV's reliability had been recognised internationally.

"It is a glad moment for the entire ISRO community. ISRO has proved its mettle and the mission performed exceedingly well. It’s a reassurance to the nation that the confidence in ISRO is fully justified," Mission Director P Kunhikrishnan said in remarks that summed up the mood of the space scientists who needed the morale booster after the double GSLV failure.

It was anxiety all the way for the Indian space scientists at the Mission Control since the rocket blasted off and injected the satellites into space. Each stage of successful separation was greeted with loud applause.

The Resourscesat-2 with three high resolution cameras on a single platform would capture images that will be useful in assessing the health of crops, monitoring deforestation and water levels in reservoirs and lakes besides the snow-melt in the Himalayas.

ISRO officials said it would help in catering to the national and global data needs to address multiple aspects of resource inventory and monitoring in specific areas of applications including agriculture, water resources, rural development, bio-resources and geological exploration.

Data from the satellite would help in facilitating a variety of applications including disaster management and related activities.

Apart from the three cameras with high, medium and coarse resolutions, Resourcesat-2 also has two solid state recorders with a capacity of 200 GB each to store images which can be accessed by the ground stations later.

It also carries Automatic Identification System (AIS) from COMDEV, Canada, as an experimental payload for ship surveillance in VHF band to derive position, speed and other information about ships.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affiars and PMO V Narayanaswamy described the succesful launch as a landmark event and said the Prime Minister and the government "are with the scientists to do more such work."

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