In its fiftieth successful flight, India’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) launched the communication satellite CMS-01, which will replace the old GSAT-12 satellite launched in 2011.
The new satellite will enhance the country’s communication networks and aid in e-learning, tele-medicine, and disaster management services.
The current satellite has an estimated mission life of over seven years. The rocket – in its XL configuration with six solid strap-on motors – lifted off from the second launch pad at Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh at 3.41pm on Thursday. After the burn of all four stages of a PSLV rocket, the satellite was placed in an elliptical geostationary transfer orbit. After four days, the Liquid Apogee Motor will be fired and after a few manoeuvres, the satellite will be placed in a circular orbit of 36,000 km.
This was the second launch for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) this year, with most of the missions – including big-ticket solar mission and first unmanned flight of the Gaganyaan mission – delayed due to the pandemic.