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ISRO successfully launches military satellite Microsat R and Kalamsat (see pics)

FE Online
isro pslv c44 launch

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on Thursday night launched its 46th flight of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C44) carrying satellite Kalamsat and an imaging satellite Microsat-R. The satellite-launch vehicle lifted from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh s Sriharikota at 11:37 pm. PSLV is a four-stage launch vehicle with alternating solid and liquid stages.

The launch also marks the start of year’s space campaign. Both the defence imaging satellite Microsat R for the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and students-built nano-satellite Kalamsat were successfully places in their orbit.

Watch video: ISRO launches PSLV-C44 mission carrying Kalamsat, Microsat-R

After the successful launch, ISRO Chairman K Sivan said that the mission is a grand success.

“The PSLV rocket precisely injected the Microsat R in its designated orbit,” Sivan said.

ISRO PSLV launch

The ISRO chief also lauded the efforts of the students who made the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C44). Encouraging the efforts by the students in the field of science and space, Sivan said that the Indian space agency is ready to help all Indian students to conduct space experiments.

ISRO satellite launch

“I request the students of India to please bring your science experiments and you please plug in PFO, we will launch you don t worry. You make India science oriented. You take India to the science technology map, Sivan said.

The notable aspects of this space mission are flying of a new variant of PSLV, switching off and on of the fourth stage engine couple of times, and use of fourth stage as an orbital platform carrying Space Kidz India built nano-satellite Kalamsat. Space Kidz India is an organisation dedicated in designing innovative concepts for students in the field of education.

ISRO PSLV launch

At 11.37 pm on Thursday, the 44.4-metre tall rocket blasted off from the first launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre. The thrilling aspect came in when rocket’s fourth-stage/engine was cut/switched off in just over 13 minutes after the lift-off. A minute later the DRDO’s imaging satellite Microsat R was ejected at an altitude of about 277 km.

ISRO PSLV launch

Speaking about the military satellite, Sivan said the Microsat R is a 700kg satellite for DRDO. The GSAT-7 and GSAT-7A are the two dedicated military communication satellites. All other earth observation and communication satellites launched earlier were of dual use — civilian and defence.

Microsat R placed into orbit


The 44.4-metre tall rocket that lifted off on Thursday had two strap-on motors and its configuration is designated as PSLV-DL, a new variant of PSLV with two strap-on motors. This also marks the first mission of PSLV-DL. At about 100 minutes after the lift-off, the rocket’s fourth stage was switched on again for few seconds before it was again cut off. Finally, at about 103 minutes after the rocket left the earth, the fourth stage began its role as an orbital platform carrying Kalamsat at an altitude of 450 km.

ISRO PSLV launches

Kalamsat is a payload developed by students and Chennai-based Space Kidz India and the first to use the rocket’s fourth stage as an orbital platform. According to Srimathy Kesan, Founder CEO of Space Kidz India, Kalamsat is a 10cm cube, 1.2 kg communication satellite with a life span of two months. The satellite cost is about Rs 12 lakh.