Friday, October 14, 2011
Indo-French satellite put into orbit
SRIHARIKOTA: Despite gray skies on Wednesday morning, Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) trusted carrier, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), successfully carried an Indo-French joint satellite into space and placed it in orbit.
Besides this satellite, Megha-Tropiques, which will be used to provide groundbreaking real-time information about water cycles in the tropics, three other satellites— part of the vehicle’s 1,947 kg payload— were put in orbit.
The PSLV was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR) here.
Just over 21 minutes after the launch, ISRO chairman Dr K Radhakrishnan smilingly announced that the mission was a “grand success”. He described it as “a new phase of co-operation between India and France”.
This was the 20th PSLV launch.
It was also the 19th consecutive one that made it to orbit. Celebrations rang out at the control centre of the SDSC after the last satellite - Jugnu, developed by students of IIT-Kanpur, was deployed.
A representative from the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), the French space agency, said that he was impressed by the “professional launch”.
Radhakrishnan described Megha- Tropiques as “unique” and said it was of tremendous interest to the scientific community globally.
Explaining that the satellite would record and transmit parameters relating to tropical weather and climate to aid prediction, he said this was the “beginning of a new era in science”.