India's PSLV-C49 lifts off with earth observation satellite EOS-01, nine international customer satellites
New Delhi, November 7, 2020
India's workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C49) lifted off today with earth observation satellite EOS-01 on board as the primary satellite along with nine international customer satellites.
EOS-01 is intended for applications in agriculture, forestry and disaster management support, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said.
The launch took place in text book fashion at 1511 hours from the first launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
The customer satellites -- four each from the United States and Luxembourg andone from Lithuania -- have been launched under commercial agreement with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), Department of Space.
This is PSLV's 51st mission. The launch took place with strict COVID-19 pandemic protocols in place, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said.
Among other things, media personnel were not present and the launch viewing gallery was closed.
Apart from Doordarshan and other television channels, the live telecast of the launch was available on ISRO's website, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter channels.
This is the first space mission for ISRO from India in 2020. On January 17, 2020, India's telecommunication satellite, the 3,357 kg GSAT-30 -- a replacement for INSAT-4A, was successfully launched into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) from Kourou launch base in French Guyana by an Ariane rocket.
The primary passenger of the 44.5 metre tall PSLV-C49 is the Indian radar imaging satellite EOS-01 (formerly RISAT-2BR2) with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) that can shoot pictures in all-weather conditions.
The satellite can take pictures day and night and will be useful for surveillance as well as civilian activities.
The nine foreign satellites that would piggyback are from: Lithuania (1-technology demonstrator), Luxembourg (4 maritime application satellites by Kleos Space) and the US (4-Lemur multi mission remote sensing satellites).
ISRO use the PSLV rocket's DL variant, that had two strap-on booster motors, for today's mission. This rocket variant was used the first time to put the Microsat R satellite into orbit on January 24, 2019.
The PSLV is a four-stage/engine rocket powered by solid and liquid fuels alternatively with six booster motors strapped on to the first stage to give higher thrust during the initial flight moments.