ISRO’s 100th Mission Sends Spot-6, Japanese Microsatellite into Orbit
[Satellite TODAY 09-11-12] The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has successfully launched its 100th mission – a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C21) rocket that placed two foreign satellites into orbit, ISRO confirmed Sept. 11.
The PSLV-C21 blasted off from the Satish Dhawan space center at Sriharikota in south India. The launch was initially delayed for two minutes as ISRO scientists waited for space debris to clear out of the flight path. The rocket sent the Astrium-built Spot-6 remote-sensing satellite and a Japanese Earth observation microsatellite Proiteres into orbit.
In a statement, ISRO Chief K. Radhakrishnan said the successful launch of Spot-6 makes the PSLV rocket a, “strong contender to carry Spot-7, which is being planned by Astrium to launch in 2014. India’s space expeditions are for the betterment of society, not to compete with other countries.”
Spot 6 and Spot 7 cost about 300 million euros ($375 million) combined. The satellites aim to form a constellation of Earth-imaging satellites that will provide high-resolution, wide-swath data through 2023.