India successfully put into orbit five British satellites with its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle’s XL variant (PSLV-XL) Friday evening, said officials
In its first commercial mission this year, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) at 21:58 local time blasted off the PSLV-XL rocket, which stood 44.4 meters tall and weighed 320 tons, into the night sky, carrying five British satellites cumulatively weighing around 1,440 kg as its luggage.
It slung them into their intended orbit just over 19 minutes afterwards, said ISRO officials at the Satish Dhawan Space Center, about 80 km from the city of Chennai.
The load is regarded as the heaviest commercial satellite launch by the ISRO so far.
The three identical optical earth observation satellites as well as two technology demonstrator satellites were built by Britain’s Surray Satellite Technology.
Launched into a single Low-Earth Orbit (LEO), these satellites with a life span of seven years can image any target on the Earth’ s surface and will be the most useful in surveying the resources on earth, its environment and could even help in monitoring disasters on the planet.
France’s SPOT 7 satellite weighing 714 kg was the heaviest single foreign satellite carried by a PSLV rocket till now. It was launched on June 30, 2014.