Millennium Post

ISRO successfully launches Indo-French satellite ‘SARAL’

India’s polar satellite launch vehicle continued with its success streak on Monday, launching Indo-French satellite SARAL and six other satellites from Austria, Britain, Canada and Denmark. The 23rd launch of PSLV-C20 — the 22nd consecutive success — also marked the second highest number of satellites being flown in a launch vehicle by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The launch was delayed by five minutes because of a possible interference of space debris.

President Pranab Mukherjee and Andhra Pradesh chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy were among those who witnessed the launch at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, 100 km north of Chennai. The 44.4m PSLV weighing 668.5kg lifted off from the launch pad at 6.01pm, five minutes later than the scheduled time of 5.56pm.

SARAL, built by ISRO, would study the ocean surface and environment using two French devices — ARgos and ALtila, based on the principle of radar. The other satellites riding piggyback are two micro-satellites UniBRITE and BRITE from Austria and AAUSAT3 from Denmark and STRaND from the UK, besides a microsatellite (NEOSSat) and a mini satellite (SAPPHIRE) from Canada. Isro had postponed the SARAL launch from December last year after it detected some technical inconsistencies.
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