India has launched 10 satellites aboard a homegrown PSLV rocket. The launch was the 50th PSLV mission since its maiden flight in 1993.
The PSLV-C48 mission was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at 09:55 UTC this morning (15:25 local time).
Approximately 16 minutes after liftoff, the mission’s primary payload was successfully deployed into a 576-kilometer orbit at an inclination of 37 degrees from the equator. Exactly 60 seconds later, the first of nine secondary payloads was deployed. The final payload drifted away from the rocket’s upper stage just under 22 minutes after liftoff.
The mission’s primary payload was the RISAT-2BR1 Earth observation satellite. The 628-kilogram radar imaging satellite will be used for farm, forest, and disaster management. It is expected to remain in service for no fewer than five years.
In addition to the mission’s primary payload, PSLV-C48 carried eight commercial satellites and the PTD-1 nanosatellite for NASA’s Ames Research Center. The eight commercial payloads aboard the launch included four Lemur-2 satellites for Spire Global and a nanosatellite built by highschool students from Israel.
This morning’s launch was the 50th mission for India’s homegrown Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). The rocket was developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and was launched on its maiden flight on September 20, 1993. Since then, it has successfully completed 47 missions suffering just two failures and one partial failure.
The PSLV-C48 rocket utilized for this morning’s mission was launched in the QL configuration, which features four ground-lit solid strap-on boosters. This variant of the rocket was first launched on April 1, 2019. Today’s launch was only the second time it has been utilized.