PSLV mission successful but 5 minute delay in launch

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Sriharikota, Feb 25: India's polar satellite launch vehicle's successful launch of Canada's Near-Earth Object Surveillance Satellite (NEOSSat) which will track asteroids and space debris that might pose a threat to our planet was ironically delayed by five minutes on Monday because of a possible interference of space debris.

The PSLV C20 launched Indo-French satellite Saral and five other satellites from Austria, Britain, Canada and Denmark. The 23rd launch of PSLV-C20 - the 22nd consecutive success - also marked the second highest number of satellites being flown in a launch vehicle by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).

President Pranab Mukherjee and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy were among those who witnessed the launch at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, 100km north of Chennai. The 44.4m PSLV weighing 668.5kg lifted off from the launch pad at 6.01 p.m, a delay of five minutes from the scheduled time of 5.56 pm.

The Saral would study the ocean surface and environment using two French devices - ARgos and ALtila, based on the principle of radar. The other satellites riding piggyback are two micro-satellites UniBRITE and BRITE from Austria and AAUSAT3 from Denmark and STRaND from the UK, besides a microsatellite (NEOSSat) and a mini satellite (SAPPHIRE) from Canada.

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