India has launched more than 30 satellites aboard the country’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). The mission successfully deployed the country’s Hyperspectral Imaging Satellite (HysIS) and 30 additional satellites for a variety of international customers.
The four-stage PSLV rocket was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at 04:57 UTC (09:57 IST) this morning. The HysIS earth observation satellite was deployed first into a sun-synchronous polar orbit approximately 17 minutes after lift-off. After two additional burns, the first of the 30 additional satellites separated from the rocket’s upper stage with the last drifting free just under 4 minutes later.
Following the launch, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) confirmed that all payloads had been deployed successfully over a series of “Update” Tweets.
In addition to India’s HysIS satellite, the launch deployed satellites for customer from Australia, Canada, Columbia, Finland, Malaysia, the Netherlands, and the United States. 23 of the 30 additional satellites were launched on behalf of US clients including 16 Flock 3R satellites for Earth imaging company, Planet Labs.
The HysIS satellite was both developed and launched by the ISRO. It was built on the agency’s Mini Satellite-2 (IMS-2) bus and has a mass of approximately 380 kilograms (837 pounds). The HysIS satellite carries a hyperspectral imaging payload and will be used to “study the Earth’s surface in visible, near infrared and shortwave infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum”. It is expected to remain operational for 5 years.