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India’s PSLV blasts off with 20 satellites

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)’s big mission today has seen 20 satellites launched successfully in orbit. The PSLV-C34 mission is being called as the biggest ever mission for India’s space agency. Here are the key points to note about ISRO’s PSLV-C34 mission, which had 17 commercial satellites as part of its payload, and two from Indian academic institutions. The main cargo is India’s 725.5 kg Cartosat-2 series satellite for earth observation.

After a flight of 16 minutes 30 seconds, the satellites achieved a polar Sun Synchronous Orbit of 508 km inclined at an angle of 97.5 degree to the Equator (very close to the intended orbit), and in the succeeding 10 minutes, all the 20 satellites successfully separated from the PSLV fourth stage in a predetermined sequence. After separation, the two solar arrays of Cartosat-2 series satellite were deployed automatically and ISRO's Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) at Bengaluru took over the control of the satellite.

ISRO reported that of the 19 co-passenger satellites carried by PSLV-C34, two – SATHYABAMASAT weighing 1.5 kg and SWAYAM weighing 1kg – are University/Academic institute satellites and were built with the involvement of students from Sathyabama University, Chennai and College Of Engineering, Pune, respectively.

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