ISRO to launch 10 satellites at one go

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Chennai, Apr 23: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will create a record of sorts when it launches ten satellites, including eight nano satellites from abroad, in a single mission on April 28 from the spaceport of Sriharikota.

ISRO sources told sources today that the satellites would be launched by the 12th flight of ISRO's workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C9. This was for the first time in the history of India's space programme that ten satellites would be launched in a mission, after it successfully launched four satellites when PSLV-C7 carried CARTOSAT-2, Space Capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE-1), Indonesian LAPAN-TUBSAT and Argentina's PEHUENSAT-1 in January 2007. The bunch of satellites to be launched from the second launch pad of SHAR Range on April 28 included India's Cartosat-2A, weighing 690 kg, and Indian Mini Satellite (IMS-1), weighing about 83 kg, which would have new technologies, including miniaturisation technology.

It would be sent for remote sensing purposes. With a resolution of one metre, Cartosat-2A would be used for mapping purposes.

The other eight satellites were nano satellites and they together weigh about 50 kg. The satellites were from Canada, the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany.

The ISRO has fixed the launch time at 0923 hrs and the final countdown would be fixed soon.

The satellites would be launched by the core-alone 44-m-tall and 230-tonne PSLV, without the strap-on motors.

ISRO officials said it would be an international mission as the sleek PSLV would be placing ten satellites in the intended orbit in one mission. ''It will be a tricky mission as the satellites have to be put in the orbit at the right time and in right angle one after another'', they said, adding that the role of the ejection mechanism would be crucial in the mission.

Of the eight nano satellites, six form a cluster called NLS-4.

Of the six, one each was from the University of Toronto in Canada, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands, and two were from Japan.

The seventh one, named NLS-5, weighed 16 kg and was from the University of Toronto. The eighth, called Rubin-8, was from Germany and it weighed seven kg.

These satellites were built to learn the art of fabricating satellites by academicians and to test nano technologies for use in satellites.

The launch had more commercial value as Antrix Corporation, the financial arm of the ISRO, would be charging money for carrying foreign satellites.


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