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India successfully completed another multiple satellite launch by putting 8 satellites into orbit including the weather satellite SCATSAT-1. The first phase was to put SCATSAT-1 into the orbit, followed by the second phase for 7 satellites in a different orbit. These 7 satellites include 5 foreign and 2 Indian. Till now, ISRO has successfully launched 79 satellites for international customers.

Exactly at 9.12am, the PSLV rocket standing 44.4 meters tall and weighing 320 tonne was launched by ISRO. After seventeen minutes of flight, the main satellite SCATSAT-1 weighing 371kg was injected into a 730 km polar sun synchronous orbit. SCATSAT-1 will be mainly used for ocean and weather related studies. It said the SCATSAT-1’s scatterometer will provide wind vector data products for weather forecasting, cyclone detection and tracking services to the users.

The mission life of the satellite is up to 5 years. The remaining 7 satellites were placed in a 689 km polar orbit later.

These seven satellites include five foreign satellites: three from Algeria (Alsat-1B 103kg, Alsat-2B 117kg, Alsat-1N 7kg), and one each from Canada (NLS-19, 8kg) and US (Pathfinder-44kg).

The two other Indian satellites are: Pratham (10kg) built by Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) and Pisat (5.25kg) from PES University, Bengaluru and its consortium.

“Today is a land mark day. Using the PSLV rocket we achieved he launch of eight satellites,” A.S.Kiran Kumar, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said soon after the launch.

“After a long gap of two hours, the entire mission was completed successfully,” the chairman added.

Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) director K. Sivan told IANS on Sunday that the long time gap between the cutting off of the engine and its restart was not an issue.

About the challenge, Sivan said: “After cutting off the engine, its condition should be brought to such a stage that it could be restarted again. The next challenge is to controlling the engine and bringing it so as to eject the remaining satellites into a different orbit.”

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