Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set for its heaviest ever commercial mission on 10 July. In a statement, an ISRO official said on Sunday that the Indian Space Agency along with Antrix – its commercial arm, will be launching five British Satellites that will be carried by Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). Altogether these five satellites will weigh nearly 1440 kg and will be launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota.
On Friday, PSLV-C28 will launch three DMC3 optical Earth observation satellites that are identical and build by Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL), United Kingdom. It will be 13th flight for PSLV-C28. Three identical DMC3 satellites, 3 m tall, weighing 447 kg each will be launched into a 647 km Sun-Synchronous Orbit (SSO). ISRO reported that these launches would be made using high-end version of PSLV (PSLV-XL). Also, the four stage PSLV rocket will start its venture around 10 p.m.
Other two auxiliary satellites, CBNT-1, a technology demonstrator Earth observation microsatellite built by SSTL, and De-OrbitSail, a technology demonstrator nanosatellite built by Surrey Space Centre, also will be carried by the PSLV rocket from the United Kingdom. CBNT-1 weighs around 91 kg while De-OrbitSail is 7 kg.
ISRO chief Kiran Kumar said that to mount such a heavy weight on the launch vehicle was a big challenge but Indian scientists have successfully completed the task and it will be the heaviest launch mission ever in the history of ISRO. To mount the satellite, scientists designed a circular L-adaptor and a triangular Multiple Satellite Adapter-Version 2 (MSA-V2).
DMC3 consists of three super advanced mini-satellites, DMC3-1, DMC3-2 and DMC3-3. It is designed to address the need for simultaneous high spatial resolution and high temporal resolution optical Earth Observation. With 120-degree phase separation between them, these satellites will be able to monitor any surface on the earth and can help in identifying resources, monitoring disasters, watch urban development, etc. DMC3 satellites are powered by Lithium-Ion 480 Whr, Solar panel-230 W Peak BOL with an imaging resolution of 1m Panchromatic, 4m Multi-Spectral (Blue, Green, Red, NIR). The mission will last for 7 years.
France’s SPOT 7 satellite launched on June 30, 2014, was the heaviest single foreign satellite carried by a PSLV till date; it weighed 714 kg.