PSLV back after August failure, launches 31 satellites


"PSLV-C40 Successfully Launches Cartosat-2 Series Satellite", ISRO said in a Twitter message. Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed ISRO scientists for the successful PSLV C-40 mission. "It is gratifying that PSLV-C40 was successfully launched after the last event of PSLV-C39 marginally went out in the midst due to non-separation of the heat shield that failed to release the satellite in orbit".

India has carried out dozens of satellite launches since 1999, carrying more than 200 satellites for countries around the globe, according to data from the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Four months after it suffered a rare failure in recent times, PSLV, India's most dependable rocket launcher, was back in business on Friday, launching a Cartosat-2 series remote sensing satellite, along with 30 others, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

Of 31 satellites, three are Indian and 28 are from Canada, Finland, France, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the US.

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The lift-off was postponed by a minute because of fear of collision with space debris. The Indian microsatellite would be orbited after about 90 minutes following the re-ignition of the fourth stage (following placement of the 30th satellite in its orbit), ISRO chairman AS Kiran Kumar said. The latest satellites will be used by India to obtain high-resolution images of the planet and for better border surveillance.

"ISRO is starting 2018 with the successful launch. So far Cartosat performance is satisfactory", he said at the mission control room.

Contrary to the media reports over Isro's century with respect to satellites of India with the launch of three satellites of the country on Friday, Isro chairman A.S. Kirankumar said the number referred to satellites rolled out of Isro's satellite centre in Bengaluru. Sivan is set to take charge as the new Isro chairman by next week.

The launch of the second national probe to the Moon: Chandrayaan-2 (lunar vehicle, in Sanskrit) in March 2019, is among the most striking proposals.