India Launches PSLV, Places Three Satellites in Orbit|
Bangalore - Oct 22, 2001
In its sixth flight conducted today (October 22, 2001) from SHAR Centre, Sriharikota, ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C3, successfully launched three satellites -- Technology Experiment Satellite (TES) of ISRO, BIRD of Germany and PROBA of Belgium -- into their intended orbits.
This is the second time that PSLV launched three satellites simultaneously; in the previous launch in May 1999 PSLV had launched India's IRS-P4 along with German DLR and Korean KITSAT-3.
While TES and BIRD (Bispectral and Infrared Remote Detection) satellites were placed in the 568 km sun-synchronous orbit, PROBA (Project for On Board Autonomy) was placed in an elliptical orbit with a perigee (nearest to earth) of 568 km and an apogee (farthest to the earth) of 638 km. The higher orbit for PROBA was achieved by firing the reaction control thrusters of PSLV-C3 fourth stage.
PSLV-C3 lifted off Sriharikota at 10:23 a.m. [local time, 0453 UTC] with the ignition of the core first stage and four strap-on motors, the remaining two strap-on motors of the first stage were ignited at 25 sec after lift-off.
After going through the planned flight events including the separation of the ground-lit strap-on motors, the air lit strap-on motors and first stage separation, the ignition of the second stage, separation of the heat shield after the vehicle had cleared the dense atmosphere, third stage ignition, third stage separation, third stage ignition, third stage separation, fourth stage ignition and fourth stage cut-off, the satellites were systematically injected into the orbit as per plan.