Commoners join scientists as ISRO put EMISAT and 28 other nano satellites in orbit

The Indian Space agency ISRO launched the electronic intelligence satellite EMISAT along with 28 nano satellites of global customers from Sriharikota today. The surveillance satellite is a special mission for India’s DRDO, it was launched in a four engine Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV C-45).

Today’s launch comes six days after India test-fired an anti-satellite (ASAT) missile in the Mission Shakti operation.

For the first time Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) invited common people to view the launch, about 1200 commoners witnessed the proceedings live.

The countdown to the launch began at 6.27 am from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

Along with the EMISAT, the rocket carried 28 third-party nano satellites and also demonstrated the new technology of launching satellites in three different orbits.

The vehicle first put the 436 kilogram EMISAT into a 749 kilometer orbit.

After that, the rocket was brought down to put 28 satellites into orbit at an altitude of 504 kilometers.

After this, the rocket was again brought down to an altitude of 485 kilometers to put three experimental payloads —

  • The Automatic Identification System (AIS) from ISRO for Maritime satellite applications capturing messages transmitted from ships
  • Automatic Packet Repeating System (APRS) from AMSAT (Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation) that’ll assist amateur radio operators in tracking and monitoring position data in India
  • Advanced Retarding Potential Analyser for Ionospheric Studies (ARIS) from Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) for the structural and compositional studies of ionosphere.

The whole flight sequence took 180 minutes after the rockets lift off.

The 28 international customer satellites includle 24 satellites from the US, two from Lithuania and one each from Spain and Switzerland.

The PSLV is a four-stage engine expendable rocket with alternating solid and liquid fuel.