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ISRO workhorse PSLV to launch satellites into different orbits


ISRO workhorse PSLV will achieve yet another milestone when it launches satellites into two different orbits. The PSLVC35 will first park SCATSAT-1 in the Polar Sun Synchronous orbit at an altitude of 730 Kilometers and then launch seven other satellites. It is the longest duration launch mission ever attempted.

The SCATSAT-1 weighs 371 KG and comprises the primary payload of the vehicle along with seven other satellites. The tricky part is that ISRO will be launching the satellites in two different orbits using a single rocket.

ISRO will be trying out the ‘Multiple Burn Technology’ which entails a brief shutdown and restart of the engine enabling it to glide to the next orbit with its payload. The success of this step is vital as the engine temperatures have to be maintained below a certain point to prevent any damage to the vehicle as well its payload.

A demonstration of this technique has been successfully achieved twice, with the PSLV C34 in June and PSLV C29 in December of 2015. However, this time, the technology will be validated since the rocket will be carrying a payload also.

The rocket takes five satellites from other nations which will be inserted into a Polar orbit of 689 Kilometers. The PSLV will first park the SCATSAT-1 in the Polar Sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 730km and then glide to 689 kilometers to park the other five payloads.

The primary payload will be ejected from its slot in 17 minutes after liftoff. The engines will be shut for a period and will be closely monitored and then fired again for another 20 seconds which will generate the necessary thrust to heave the rocket and its payload to the desired orbit. If successful, this process will bring down the cost of launching hardware to space by a significant margin.

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