India successfully launched its newest communications satellite, CMS-01, aboard its polar rocket from the spaceport on Thursday, the second and final launch this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
ISRO’s trusted polar satellite launcher, PSLV-C50, injected the satellite into predefined orbit approximately 20 minutes after it lifted off the second launch pad in the Sriharikota spaceport.
CMS-01 is the space agency’s 42nd communications satellite and is expected to provide services in the extended C-band of the frequency spectrum for India, Andaman and Nicobar and the islands of Lakshadweep.
The satellite works “very well,” said ISRO chairman K Sivan. The satellite’s solar panels, an important operation, were used to target scientists at the Mission Control Center.
“I am very pleased to announce that the PSLV-C50 has successfully injected the CMS-01 communications satellite into its predefined sub-geosynchronous transfer orbit. In another four days, the satellite will be placed in the specified slot on the GTO.” he said.
Sivan said the satellite will act as a replacement for the GSAT-12 communications satellite launched 11 years ago. According to ISRO, CMS-01 will have a lifespan of over seven years.
The chairman congratulated the space agency’s launch and satellite vehicle teams, saying, “I am sure this satellite will successfully perform all of its planned functions.” He outlined ISRO’s future missions, Chandrayaan-3, the flagship Aditya L-1 and Gaganyaan, and said they were planning missions at the earliest.
These included the highly anticipated missions GSLV (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) and SSLV (Small Satellite Launch Vehicle). “A number of missions are available and as usual the ISRO team will adapt to the occasion …” he said.
PSLV-C50 is the 22nd flight of PSLV in XL configuration (equipped with six strap-on motors) and it was the 77th launch vehicle mission from Sriharikota, approximately 120 km from Chennai.
This will be followed by the successful launch of the Earth observation satellite PSLV-C49 (EOS-01) and nine customer spacecraft on November 7, which was ISRO’s first mission of the year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Today’s start is the last of 2020 for ISRO.
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