ISRO Places Three Spacecraft into Orbit with PSLV Launch

[Satellite TODAY Insider 04-21-11] The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) carrying three satellites from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in India, ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan announced April 19.
    The ISRO PSLV-C16 mission delivered the Indian government’s Resourcesat 2 spacecraft to replace Resourcesat 1, which was launched in 2003. Resourcesat 2 aims to aid Indian environmental scientists in measuring soil contamination, tracking water resources and monitoring land-use trends. The satellite is equipped with three visible and infrared cameras and upgraded imagers. Indian national security agencies will have access to the satellite’s data to support domestic and regional monitoring programs.
    “Resourcesat 2 is an exciting and crucial program for India. The technology featured includes advanced and miniaturized electronics and experimental ship-tracking automatic identification system instrument to collect position, speed and other information from seagoing vessels,” Radhakrishnan said in a press conference following the launch.
    The PSLV payload also included a pair of scientific research satellites. YouthSat is a joint mission between Indian and Russian students, and X-Sat is Singapore’s first national satellite. YouthSat is equipped with three research instruments to study the Earth’s upper atmosphere and measure solar cosmic rays. X-sat was designed to feature a multi-spectral camera to demonstrate space-based remote sensing and image processing technologies.
    This was ISRO’s 17th consecutive PSLV launch — a timely boost for the agency after it came out of 2010 with two straight GSLV rocket failures. ISRO’s GSLV-F06 mission exploded shortly after its takeoff on Christmas Day, destroying both the launch vehicle and the GSAT-5P satellite, which was to replace the aging INSAT-2A spacecraft. In April, ISRO’s GSLV-D3 rocket carrying the GSAT-4 communications satellite failed.
    “We’re extremely happy and relieved to announce that the PSLV-C16/Resourcesat 2 mission is successful. We would like to highlight the PSLV’s successful track record, despite our troubling year with our larger GSLV rocket, and hope that it brings more confidence in our dedication to India’s space program,” Radhakrishnan said.

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