Sriharikota, Apr 28: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) today created history when its workhorse, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), completed a challenging mission, putting as many as ten satellites into the orbit. After a perfect launch at 0923 hrs from the world class second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at SHAR here, PSLV-C9 surged into the space and completed its mission, injecting all ten satellites in the intended orbit with text-book precision.
"It's really a memorable and historic moment. The mission was perfect and for the first time, ten satellites were launched within one mission," a jubilant ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair announced amid huge applause at the Mission Control Centre. ''The ISRO team has done it again. It's PSLV's 12th successful mission in a row and has done its mission wonderfully well again. There was not even the slightest deviation from the projected trajectory path,'' he said. The ISRO team had some anxious moments as a low pressure formed in the Bay of Bengal. But the scientists braved the weather condition to achieve the success.
''We had anxious weather formation (low peressure) in the Bay of Bengal. But fortunately, it did not develop seriously,'' Mr Nair said heaving a sigh of relief. The huge success, adding yet another feather in ISRO's cap, comes at a time when they are gearing up for the all important moon mission-- the ''Chandrayan.'' Of all the missions, this was the most challenging as the fourth stage of the rocket should fire the ten satellites into the orbit one after another in a timed sequence, without any collision.
The scientists, led by Mr Nair, gathered at the Mission Control Centre waited in bated breath as the fourth stage began its crucial work after achieving 633 km orbit. They burst into a huge applause after it was announced the ''total mission has been completed." The PSLV had successfully launched multiple satellites thrice earlier in one mission. A maximum of four satellites were launched on January 10 last year. But this was the first time it launched as many as ten satellites using a single rocket, a complex task. India has become the second country after Ukraine to launch ten or more satellies in single mission. Ukraine held the world record for having launched as many as many as 13 satellites, using a single rocket.
ISRO once again used ''core alone'' version of the PSLV to make it a lighter vehicle weighing 230 tonne to launch ten satellites. The vehicle does not carry six strap-on booster motors that surrounded the first stage. Of the ten satellites, the two Indian satellites launched were CARTOSAT-2A, which weighed 690 kg and Indian Mini Satellite (IMS-1), weighing 83 kgs. The rest of the eight were Nanosatellites from abroad, totally weighing 50 kgs, carried as anxiliary payloads.
While six of the Nanosatellites were clustered together and had the collective name NLS-4, the other two were named as NLS-5 and RUBIN-8.
Though the weight of Nanosatellites, together was only 50 kgs, ISRO considered its as a most challenging and demanding mission as the fourth stage had to be reoriented each time it ejected a satellite into orbit.
No wonder, scientists gathered at the Mission Control Centre burst into applause when the mission was perfectly completed. They hugged each other and shook hands. The scientists, had earlier sought the blessings of Lord Venkateswara at Tirupati.
The success of the multiple satellites launch mission has come as a morale booster for the ISRO scientists who were working on moon mission ''Chandrayan.
"This successful mission puts more responsibility on us for the next mission Chandrayan." PSLV once again demonstrated its prowess and it is a historical moment for ISRO and its fraternity,'' Mr George Kozhi, Mission Director said.