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ISRO successfully launches PSLVC 44 mission carrying Kalamsat, first student-made satellite

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 25 January 2019, 12:15 AM
ISRO's workhorse Polar rocket blasted off from the first launchpad at 11.37 pm (Image Credit: PTI)
ISRO's workhorse Polar rocket blasted off from the first launchpad at 11.37 pm (Image Credit: PTI)

ISRO successfully launches PSLVC 44 mission carrying Kalamsat and India's military satellite MicrosatR from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. The Kalamsat is a payload developed by students and Chennai-based Space Kidz India. It is the first to use the rocket's fourth stage as an orbital platform. Space Kidz India is working towards promoting art, science and culture for students of India, and to create an international platform for them.

The Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) workhorse Polar rocket blasted off from the first launchpad at 11.37 pm at the end of a 28-hour countdown and soared into the clear and starry night sky, in the first mission for ISRO in 2019.

"ISRO is open to all students of India. Bring to us your satellites and we will launch it for you. Let's make India into a science-fairing nation, ISRO Chief K Sivan said on successful launch of PSLVC 44 mission.

In a textbook launch, the 44-metre tall, four-stage PSLV-C44 soared into the clear and starry night sky majestically and injected the 740-kg Microsat-R into orbit precisely 13 minutes and 30 seconds later.

Former ISRO chairmen Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan and AS Kiran Kumar were among those who witnessed the launch.

The fourth stage of the rocket with co-passenger Kalamsat, a students' payload, would now be moved to a higher circular orbit, around 450 kms from earth, so as to establish an orbital platform for carrying out experiments. The ISRO said it would take about 90 minutes for the fourth stage to reach the desired orbit.

The PSLV-C44, assembled in 30 days, was the first mission of a new variant of the PSLV, called the PSLV-DL, as it was equipped with two strap-on configurations, the ISRO said. Usually, PSLVs were launched without any strap-ons (boosters) or were equipped with six strap-ons fixed around the rocket, but the ISRO, for the first time, used only two boosters for the mission, an official of the space agency said.

He added that for the first time, the ISRO placed a satellite -- Microsat-R -- in a lower orbit, at around 274 kms from earth.

Contributed by college students and the members of a Chennai-based organisation -- Space Kidz India -- Kalamsat is the first to use PS4 (the fourth stage of the vehicle) as a platform to orbit around the earth.

"We have been working on the project for over six years now. These students are from various backgrounds and the youngest one is studying B.Sc Physics," Space Kidz India CEO Srimathy Kesan told PTI.

With PTI Inputs

First Published: Thursday, January 24, 2019 11:46 PM

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