The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has successfully launched the 51st mission of its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). The payload includes 10 satellites, including the world observation satellite, EOS-01, meant to supply support for agriculture, forestry and disaster management efforts within the country. The mission also includes nine customer satellites from Lithuania (1), Luxembourg (4) and therefore the USA (4) as a part of a billboard agreement with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL).
The satellites were launched aboard the PSLV C49 from the Satish Dhawan Space Center (SDSC) in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh , at 3:12pm. The take off was originally scheduled for 3.02 pm, but was delayed by 10 minutes thanks to debris on the trail of the vehicle, consistent with ISRO. However, everything else is believed to possess gone consistent with plan since then, with all 10 satellites having successfully separated from the launch vehicle and injected into their intended orbits.
Discounting the GSAT-30 launch from the French Guyana in January, the PSLV-C49 launch was India’s first space mission this year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic that wreaked havoc with ISRO’s plans. While it carried an entire bunch of satellites as a part of the agency’s efforts to get revenues from its launch programs, its main mission was to place into orbit the EOS-01 Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT) which will work with the RISAT-2B and RISAT-2BR1 launched last year.
ISRO’s last mission was back in December, when it launched the RISAT-2BR1. The agency had planned quite 20 missions in FY20-21, including high-profile ones just like the Aditya L1, the primary exploratory mission to Sun. Another ambitious project was the proposed launch of the unmanned Gaganyaan before its first manned space flight next year. The agency was also getting to launch the Chandrayaan 3 mission this year following the failure of its Chandrayaan-2 mission.