ISRO launches PSLV defence satellite, 28 other international satellites

Sriharikota: A new variant of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) was launched by Indian Space and Research organisation (ISRO) from Sriharikota on Monday.

The PSLV carries electronic intelligence satellite, Emisat for the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) as well as 28 other third-party satellites.

About 17 minutes after the take-off at 9.27 am, the rocket would eject the 436 kg Emisat into a 749 km orbit.

A senior ISRO official said on the condition of anonymity that there was an increased demand for satellites from strategic sectors. About six or seven satellites are planned to be built, he said.

Sometime in July or August, India will also launch two more defence satellites with its new Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) rocket.

After putting the Emisat into orbit, the rocket will be brought down to put the 28 foreign satellites — 24 from the US, two from Lithuania and one each from Spain and Switzerland — in orbit at an altitude of 504 km. The 28 satellites will weigh about 220 kg.

Once that happens, India would have successfully lifted and put into orbit 297 foreign satellites till date.

The PSLV is a four-stage engine expendable rocket with alternating solid and liquid fuel. In its normal configuration, the rocket will have six strap-on motors hugging it’s first stage. But the 44.5 metre tall rocket that will lift off on Monday, has four strap-on motors and its configuration is designated as PSLV-QL.