India's 'spy in the sky', EMISAT to be launched tomorrow
(Sourced from PTI)
A 27-hour countdown began today for the launch of India's EMISAT satellite along with 28 nano-satellites of global customers from Sriharikota on Monday, a mission which would witness the ISRO placing payloads in three orbits and conducting space experiments for the first time. The EMISAT, which is the country's latest observation satellite, is aimed at electromagnetic measurement. Here are more details.
The countdown began at 6:27 am (local time) for the launch on board Indian Space Research Organization's third generation workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), in its 47th flight, the space agency said. The four-stage PSLV-C45 will blast off from the Second Launch Pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Center of Sriharikota at 9:27 am (local time) on Monday, the agency officials said.
The mission marks several firsts to ISRO's credit. It would maneuver satellites in various orbits and orbital experiments, including on maritime satellite applications. A new variant of the rocket PSLV-QL, equipped with four Strap-On motors in the first stage, will be used for the launch.
PSLV, also used in India's two key missions, "Chandrayan" in 2008 and "Mars Orbiter" in 2013, is a reliable and versatile launch vehicle for ISRO with 39 consecutive successful flights till Jun'17 and five in a row from Jan'18. The rocket has encountered only two failures so far. The first one was when its maiden developmental flight ended unsuccessful way back in 1993.
The second failure of PSLV occurred in September 2017. The flight went off without any hitch but the IRNSS-1H Satellite could not be released into orbit after the PSLV-C39's heat shield failed to open on reaching the orbit. In tomorrow's mission, ISRO scientists would place the satellites and payloads in three different orbits, a first for the agency.
After injecting the 436kg primary satellite, EMISAT, intended for electromagnetic spectrum measurement, at around 17 minutes from lift off in a 749km orbit, the scientists would restart the fourth stage again. During this initiative, all the other 28 customer satellites, totally weighing about 220kg, would be released by lowering the fourth state to around 504km orbit.
Again, the fourth stage would be reignited and further lowered to 485km orbit to serve as an orbital platform for carrying out spaceborne experimentations for the first time in ISRO's history. According to ISRO, this is the first time it has been envisaged to provide a microgravity environment for research organizations and academic institutes to perform experiments.
The PS4, the fourth-stage of PSLV, hosts three payloads in this mission. The first payload is the Automatic Identification System (AIS) from ISRO - for maritime satellite applications capturing messages transmitted from ships. The second is the Automatic Packet Repeating System (APRS) from AMSAT (Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation), India - to assist amateur radio operators in tracking and monitoring position data.
The third payload is Advanced Retarding Potential Analyser for Ionospheric Studies (ARIS) from Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) - for the structural and compositional studies of the ionosphere. The 28 international satellites, 25 3U-type, two 6U-type, and one 2U-type, are from Lithuania (two), Spain (1), Switzerland (1) and the US (24). All these satellites are being launched under commercial arrangements.
The previous launches by ISRO this year include the imaging satellite Microsat-R for military purpose along with 1.2kg Kalamsat in January on board PSLV-C44. In February, ISRO launched India's communication satellite GSAT-31 from the European launch service provider Ariane from French Guiana.