ISRO launches 28 foreign satellites

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on April 1 launched EMISAT, a reconnaissance satellite, along with 28 international customer satellites

April 1, 2019

EMISAT is built around ISRO’s Mini Satellite-2 bus, and weighs about 436 kg. The satellite is intended for electromagnetic spectrum measurement

The flight marked the first mission of PSLV-QL, a new variant of PSLV with four strap-on motors. The vehicle launched satellites in three different orbits

Next, PSLV-C46 will launch RISAT-2B in May 2019. In 2019, ISRO will launch 12 to 14 missions, including India’s 2nd mission to the moon, Chandrayaan II

The 28 foreign customer satellites, weighing about 220 kg, are from four countries, namely, Lithuania (2), Spain (1), Switzerland (1) and the US (24)

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on April 1 launched EMISAT, a reconnaissance satellite, along with 28 international customer satellites. EMISAT is built around ISRO’s Mini Satellite-2 bus, and weighs about 436 kg. The satellite is intended for electromagnetic spectrum measurement. The Indian Government-run space agency used a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C45) for the launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. The flight marked the first mission of PSLV-QL, a new variant of PSLV with four strap-on motors. The vehicle launched satellites in three different orbits.

Soon after the launch of EMISAT, the ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network at Bengaluru assumed control of the satellite. In the coming days, the satellite will be brought to its final operational configuration. Following the separation of EMISAT, the vehicle launched the 28 international customer satellites. The last customer satellite was placed into its orbit 1 hour and 55 minutes after lift-off. About 3 hours after lift-off, the fourth stage (PS4) of the vehicle was moved to a lower circular orbit of 485 km to establish it as an orbital platform for carrying out experiments with its three payloads.

The payloads carried by PS4 included Automatic Identification System from ISRO, Automatic Packet Repeating System from AMSAT, India and Advanced Retarding Potential Analyzer for ionospheric studies from Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology. So far, the PSLV has launched 46 Indian satellites, 10 satellites built by students  and 297 international customer satellites. With the latest launches, India now has over 50 operational satellites. In 2019, ISRO will launch 12 to 14 missions, including India’s second mission to the moon, Chandrayaan II. Next, PSLV-C46 will launch RISAT-2B in May 2019.

Meanwhile, the 28 foreign customer satellites, together weighing about 220 kg, are from four countries, namely, Lithuania (2), Spain (1), Switzerland (1) and the US (24). These foreign satellites were launched as part of commercial arrangements. Antrix Corp, the commercial arm of ISRO has emerged as one of the world’s most successful space agencies.