Indian space agency scores a ton, ready for many more
An Indian rocket yesterday successfully put into orbit two foreign satellites, marking Indian space agency's Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) 100th mission in the presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
“As ISRO’s 100th space mission today’s launch is a milestone in our nation’s space capabilities,” the prime minister said after the launch.
Exactly at 9.53 am, Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C21 (PSLV-C21), 44 metres tall and weighing around 230 tonne, with a one-way ticket, hurtled itself towards the skies ferrying the two satellites — SPOT 6, a 712-kg French earth observation satellite, and Proiteres, a 15-kg Japanese micro satellite.
The PSLV, costing around Rs 90 crore, blasted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. ISRO has now completed its 100th mission since the launch of its first satellite, Aryabhata, in 1975 by a Russian rocket.
With a rich orange flame at its tail and plume of white smoke, PSLV-C21 ascended towards the sky amid cheers of ISRO scientists and media team assembled at the launch centre.
People too perched atop nearby buildings and clapped as the rocket went up.
At around 18 minutes into the flight, PSLV-C21 delivered SPOT 6 and a few seconds later Proiteres into their intended polar orbits.