SRIHARIKOTA: By keeping the fourth stage (PS4) of PSLV-C38 rocket active for nearly 15 hours after injecting the 31 satellites into orbit on Friday, the Indian Space Research Organisation has successfully demonstrated an innovative way to test its new technologies with no cost. It also successfully gathered information on ionosphere density and its electric field which can be useful to the global space community.
The space organisation has restarted two times the PS4 engine for the data collection and testing it in the different orbits. “Usually, the PS4 will lose life after injecting the satellites. Here, it is active and will orbit ten more times till midnight,” said K.Sivan, director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvanathapuram. “With this we can test the new technology as it available nearly 15 hours after launching the satellite. Otherwise we have to use a separate vehicle. Without spending any money now we are able to test the new technology,” he said.
The PS4 stage was flown in low orbit to collect the atmospheric data. “When satellite is operating we have to ensure that certain environment and we have to design for the environment for the satellite to operate. For that the measurements are required. It is mainly to characterise the atmospheric properties and it will be useful for global science community,” he added.
Explaining the sequences, mission director B.Jayakumar said, “After completion of the separation of all satellites first restart will happen. After completing half orbit another restart will happen. The entire sequence will go up to midnight.” Isro chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar said, “With each PSLV launch, we are trying to improve our capability in one new area. In this mission we tested multiple restarts and multiple orbits. I am sure PSLV will continue to be the demanded vehicle for going in to lower orbits.” It may be recalled that the Isro has successfully sent the Mars Orbiter Mission with the lesser budget of Hollywood movie “Gravity.”