The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched its 100th satellite at 9.29 am on Friday from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C40), which is undertaking its 42nd mission, will carry ‘Cartosat-2’, a weather observation satellite and 30 other satellites. The launch is expected to take two hours and 21 seconds.
This is the space agency’s first mission in 2018, and its first since the unsuccessful launch of IRNSS-1H in August last year.
Live updates on ISRO’s 100th satellite launch:
9.43 am: Both Kiran Kumar and K Sivan are seated beside each other monitoring the launch. Sivan will take over as chief of ISRO from Kumar today.
9.41 am: Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu congratulates the ISRO team for the launch of its 100th satellite. Taking to Twitter, he says, “I congratulate the entire team of @isro for the successful launch of 100th satellite #PSLVC40 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota today.”
9.40 am: On a side note, TTV Dinakaran, newly-elected Tamil Nadu MLA from RK Nagar constituency tweets his congratulations to K Sivan on taking charge as ISRO chairman today. Sivan is from Nagercoil in the state. “Congratulations to Dr #KSivan on taking charge as the Chairman of the prestigious @isro. A proud moment for people of Tamil Nadu! I am sure that ISRO would scale greater heights under your able stewardship,” Dinakaran says.
9.36 am: In case you’re just joining us, ISRO this morning launched its 100th satellite from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. The PSLV-C40 vehicle is undertaking its 42nd mission. It’s carrying 31 satellites, including the Cartosat-2 series. The satellite was launched was scheduled for 9.29 am.
9.32 am: The third stage has been separated, as expected. Performance normal! The fourth stage is ignited as well — which is carrying the 31 satellites to put into the orbit. The fourth stage is normal as of now.
9.31 am: The heat shield has detached — this is what led to the unsuccessful mission in August. The second stage of performance is normal as well.
9.30 am: ISRO launches the PSLV-C40 satellite from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh to a round of applause at the centre. The launch is expected to take over two hours. The performance till now is normal.
9.29 am: Lift off!
9.23 am: It’s about three minutes till the mission commences. Hang tight!
9.20 am: As weather plays a crucial role in the launch of the satellite, officials have been monitoring wind conditions for over two hours now. Any guesses how conditions are measured? By releasing balloons into the sky!
9.12 am: Ahead of the launch, MoS PMO Jitendra Singh said, “Certainly it is a historic day for us and a great headway for India. It is also to a great extent the patronage available from PM Modi, that ISRO registered successes one after the other,” reported ANI.
9.04 am: The satellite will be launched shortly. It has 31 co-passengers, including the Cartosat-2. This is the PSLV-C40’s 42nd mission. The launch is likely to take around two and a half hours.
8.45 am: ISRO successfully launched the Cartosat-2 series satellite on June 22, 2016. Today’s is the third satellite in the series, after Cartosat-2A and 2B. Cartosat is around 700 kgs.
8.30 am: What is the ‘Cartosat-2’? The satellite series is deployed to observe the earth and relay high-resolution scene-specific spot images. The images will be used for cartographic applications, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation, road network monitoring, water distribution, creation of land use maps among other things.
8.20 am: In other news, K Sivan, a renowned scientist, is set to take the helm at ISRO, replacing AS Kiran Kumar as the chief today. Sivan, who conceptualised India’s PSLV project, has worked on it since 1982. He is popularly known as the “Rocket Man” for his contribution in the development of cryogenic engines.
8.15 am: Onboard the PSLV-C40 today are satellites from six other countries including Canada, Finland, France, South Korea, the UK and the US. India, too, is sending one micro and nano satellite. The satellites are being launched by Antrix Corporation, the commercial wing of ISRO. The total weight being carried by the PSLV-C40 is 1,323 kgs.
7.40 am: There’s a lot of talk around today’s launch as its the first since ISRO’s IRNSS-1H’s unsuccessful mission on August 31, 2017. The rocket’s shield had failed to separate, due to which the satellite could not launch. The August mission was significant as it would have introduced Navigation with Indian Constellation, or NavIC, in turn providing accurate information services within Indian territory. Read more here.
7.30 am: In its first mission this year, ISRO is launching its 100th satellite today. Follow our live blog for real-time updates.