PSLV-C50 launches communication satellite CMS-01 into orbit
India's PSLV-C50 taking off from Sriharikota with the country's 42nd communication satellite CMS-01 on board, on December 17, 2020Photo: ISRO

PSLV-C50 launches communication satellite CMS-01 into orbit

New Delhi, December 17, 2020

India's workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C50) successfully launched the country's 42nd communication satellite, CMS-01, into its intended orbit this afternoon.

PSLV-C50 lifted off from the Second Launch Pad (SLP) at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, on the eastern coast of the country, at 1541 hours today with CMS-01 as its sole passenger.

After a flight of about 20 minutes 12 seconds, the vehicle injected the satellite into its intended orbit as planned, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said.

After injection, the solar panels of CMS-01 were automatically deployed and ISRO’s Master Control Facility at Hassan assumed the control of the satellite.

In the coming days, orbit raising manoeuvers will be executed to position the satellite in the Geostationary Orbit at its designated location, an ISRO press release said.

PSLV-C50 was the 52nd flight of PSLV and 22nd flight of PSLV in 'XL' configuration (with 6 strap-on motors). This was the 77th launch vehicle mission from SDSC at Sriharikota.

The countdown for the PSLV-C50/CMS-01 mission had commenced at 1441 yesterday.

CMS-01 is the 42nd communication satelllite of India, envisaged for providing services in Extended-C Band of the frequency spectrum. The Extended-C Band coverage will include Indian mainland, Andaman-Nicobar & Lakshadweep Islands.

The CMS-01 will be a replacement for GSAT-12 that weighed 1,410 kg and was launched on July 11, 2011 with a mission life of eight years.

IANS adds:

Speaking after the launch, ISRO Chairman K Sivan said the next rocket, that would fly in February-March 2021, will be PSLV-C51 which will be a special one for the country.

Sivan said the rocket will be carrying India's first earth observation satellite from a start-up called Pixxel. The rocket will also carry a communication satellite built by students who are part of SpaceKidz team and another satellite built by aconsortium of three Indian universities.

"The primary payload for PSLV-C51 rocket will be a Brazilian satellite weighing between 600-700kg," Sivan told IANS.

He also said Team ISRO has a busy schedule ahead with the launch of Aditya satellite, Gaganyaaan -- India's human space mission, and realisation of the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV).

Thursday's space mission is the second and last from Sriharikota and the third for the country this year.

On November 7, ISRO launched radar imaging satellite EOS-01 (Earth Observation Satellite-01, formerly RISAT-2BR2) and nine foreign satellite for a fee with a PSLV rocket.

Earlier on January 17, 2020, ISRO launched the 3,357 kg communication satellite GSAT-30 by the European space agency Arianespace rocket Ariane 5.

Further, CMS-01 is the first communication satellite that ISRO has orbited under its new satellite naming scheme.

ISRO has recently decided to go generic in naming its satellites. It had earlier named its earth observation satellites as EOS and the communication satellites are being named as CMS.

"Nowadays satellites have multiple payloads for varied users and hence a thematic satellite may be a misnomer and ISRO might have decided to go for a generic name," M. Annadurai, who retired as Director, U.R. Rao Satellite Centre (URSC), formerly ISRO Satellite Centre, had told IANS.

The Indian space agency had earlier planned the maiden launch its Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) carrying EOS-02 (Earth Observation Satellite), and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-F10 (GSLV) carrying EOS-3 before the close of 2020.

The other Indian satellites that are ready for launch are GISAT and Microsat-2A.

The launch of the GISAT-1 satellite slated for March 5 this year was postponed due to technical reasons a day before the launch.

The GISAT-1 satellite will be carried by a GSLV rocket. The GSLV rocket was dismantled after the launch was called off and is being refurbished. The rocket's cryogenic engine has been brought down and it is being readied again.


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