The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) achieved yet another successful milestone by placing seven Singapore satellites into their desired orbits, including the DS-SAR, a radar imaging Earth observation satellite. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C56) flawlessly delivered these payloads to their designated positions, showcasing ISRO‘s expertise in space missions.
The mission took place early on a Sunday morning when the PSLV-C56 lifted off from the first launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. Around 21 minutes after liftoff, the rocket efficiently placed its primary payload, DS-SAR, into orbit within the next 3 minutes. Subsequently, the other six satellites, namely Velox-AM, Arcade, Scoob-II, NuLIon, Galassia-2, and Orb-12, were successfully injected into orbit.
To ensure a reduced orbital life, the rocket’s upper stage was deorbited to a lower Earth circular orbit using leftover propellants after all the satellites were deployed. Notably, this mission marked the 58th flight of the PSLV and the 17th flight in its core-alone configuration.
The DS-SAR satellite, a result of collaboration between DSTA (representing the Government of Singapore) and ST Engineering, is equipped with a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) payload developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). This advanced technology allows DS-SAR to provide high-resolution imaging day and night, irrespective of weather conditions.
The satellite’s primary purpose is to fulfill the imagery requirements of various agencies of the Singaporean Government. Moreover, ST Engineering aims to leverage DS-SAR’s capabilities to provide a diverse range of dynamic and rapid imagery services, tailored to meet the needs of its commercial clientele.
Among the other satellites launched, Velox-AM is a 23 kg technology demonstration microsatellite, Arcade is an experimental satellite focusing on Atmospheric Coupling and Dynamics, Scoob-II is a 3U Nanosatellite carrying One of the satellites launched is equipped with a cutting-edge technology demonstrator payload, while NuLIoN, developed by Nuspace, boasts an advanced 3U Nanosatellite that facilitates seamless IoT connectivity in urban as well as remote regions. Galassia-2, another 3U Nanosatellite, maintains its orbit in the low Earth orbit, while Orb-12, named Strider, proudly represents a remarkable achievement resulting from a fruitful collaboration between multiple international partners.
ISRO Chairman S. Somnath expressed pride in the mission’s success, highlighting that the satellites were placed in a “very perfect orbit.” He further revealed that the PS4 (upper stage) would be moved into a 300 km orbit over the next one and a half hours to ensure a lower lifespan and mitigate space debris risks.
Moreover, Chairman Somnath announced that another PSLV mission is scheduled for early September, showcasing the agency’s continued commitment to space exploration. Excitingly, he revealed that a fully industry-owned PSLV will be launched early next year, showcasing ISRO’s efforts to promote commercial space activities.
Looking ahead, ISRO has several significant missions lined up, including the integration of the Gaganyaan test vehicle, the third development flight of the SSLV (Small Satellite Launch Vehicle), and the launch of the INSAT-3DS using the GSLV (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle).
With these successful endeavors, ISRO continues to make strides in space exploration, fostering international collaborations, and bolstering India’s position in the global space community.