Marking a milestone, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi has described as “global endorsement of India’s space capabilities,” the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully launched Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C-23, which carried five foreign satellites from France, Germany, Canada and Singapore.
The PSLV C-23 lifted off at 9:52 AM (IST) on June 30 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, 100 km north of Chennai. French Earth Observation Satellite SPOT-7, weighing 714 kg, constitutes the main luggage in the rocket. Other small satellites include Germany’s 14 Kg AISAT, 7kg VELOX-1 of Singapore and the NLS 7.1 (CAN-X4) NLS 7.2 (CAN-X5) from Canada having a combined weight of 30 kg. The PSLV C-23 weighs 230 ton.
The satellites were launched under a commercial arrangement struck by the ISRO’s commercial arm Antrix Corporation with the foreign agencies of these satellites. This is the first space mission under the Modi- led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.
Former ISRO Chairman G. Madhavan Nair said that the PSLV C23 launch will be a major stepping stone towards centering space commerce.
With the launch of Aryabhatta in 1975, India started its space journey and has completed over 100 space missions, which includes the mission to Moon and Mars. ISRO is one of the primary government space agencies in the world, with a budget $1.1 billion (2013-14).
The Indian Space programme was started in 1962. The ISRO was set up in 1969 with the vision of rapid development and progress in space technology and its application. The Indian space programme has made rapid development through a well-integrated and self-reliant programme. The programme’s key objectives include mass communication and education with the help of satellites, survey management of natural resources through remote sensing technology, environmental monitoring and meteorological forecasting and development of indigenous satellites and satellite launch vehicles.
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