SRIHARIKOTA – India successfully launched its 16th remote-sensing satellite Oceansat-2 and six small Europeans satellites on board a rocket that blasted off from here at 11.51 a.m. Wednesday.
The 44.4-metre tall, 230-tonne Indian rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) freed itself from the launch pad at the spaceport and lifted itself up, lugging the 960-kg Oceansat-2 and the six nano satellites all together weighing 20 kg.
In copybook style, the rocket first flung out Oceansat-2 at an altitude of 720 km above the earth in a sun-synchronous orbit (SSO), followed by the four nano satellites – also called Cubesats, each weighing one kg. The remaining two, each weighing eight kg, were attached to the rocket’s fourth stage.
The six nano satellites are owned by European universities – four from Germany and one each from Switzerland and Turkey. They were launched under a commercial agreement.
Soon after the satellites were put into orbit, Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) satellite tracking centres started monitoring them.
Vice President Hamid Ansari witnessed the ISRO’s successful launch.