Nellore: The Indian Space Research Organisation is gearing up for its first-ever attempt to place satellites in different orbits from a single rocket launch next week.
Isro will be attempting the feat when it launches the workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C35 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, at Shar, Sriharikota at 9.12 am on September 26.
The rocket will first place the 370-kg ScatSat-1, a weather satellite to watch for cyclones, in orbit 720 km above the earth. About an hour and 20 minutes later, it will inject seven smaller satellites into an orbit 670 km above the earth. Among the seven are two satellites, one of them from IIT-B, and five belonging to international customers including the US.
To achieve this, the fourth stage of the rocket will be ignited twice. The maximum time Isro has taken for any launch is about 20 minutes after launch. Monday’s mission will last 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Satish Dhawan Space Centre director P. Kunhi Krishnan said the ScatSat-1 will be separated within 17 minutes of launch, after the fourth stage is shut off. The stage will be ignited briefly after 1 hour and 22 minutes and stopped. It will be started again about 40 minutes later, and the last satellite will be placed in orbit about 2 hours and 15 minutes after launch.
“We have demonstrated the fourth stage engine restart capability. The fourth stage was restarted once in case of PSLV C-29 and twice with respect to PSLV-C34” Mr Kunhi Krishnan told this newspaper.