The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle was launched on Friday from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota. The PSLV-C5, carrying 1360-kg satellite ‘Resourcesat -I’, took off at 1024 hours IST. The launch took place despite heavy downpour, which started around 1000 hours IST at Sriharikota. Since there were no gusty winds, the launch programme was not changed. The PSLV-C5 was on its eighth flight today. ‘Resourcesat -I’ (IRS-P6) is Indian Space Research Organisation’s most sophisticated and the heaviest satellite built so far. Since its first flight in 1993 the payload capability of the PSLV has been progressively improved by more than 600 kgs. About 18 minutes after the lift off, the satellite is scheduled to be injected into a Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO), 817 km above the earth. It was excitement all over the Satish Dhawan Space Centre where the entire ISRO team clapped their hands, cheered and hugged each other as the 44.4 metre tall workhorse weighing 294 tonnes, soared into the skies, leaving behind thick columns of flame and fumes. The satellite will make 14 orbits a day and the life of the mission is five years.
The IRS-P6 carries three cameras with vastly improved spatial resolutions. It also carries a Solid State Recorder with a capacity of 120 giga bits to store the images taken by its cameras which can be read out later to ground stations.