India’s first space mission on Feb 14, 2022, was launched, as the PSLV-C52 rocket successfully launched the Earth Observation Satellite EOS-04 and two small satellites into the intended orbit, a feat described as a “marvelous accomplishment” by the ISRO.
After blasting off from here at 5.59 am amid dark, early morning skies, the agency’s workhorse launch vehicle, PSLV, put the three satellites into their intended orbit.
Scientists who closely monitored the year’s inaugural flight cheered and applauded instantly after the car injected the satellites into their intended orbit after a flight of about 19 minutes. In a tweet, ISRO reported that EOS-04 had been put into an intended sun-synchronous polar orbit of 529 kilometers at 6:17 a.m.
After EOS-04 was injected, INSPIREsat-1 and INS-2TD were also placed into their orbits.
“The PSLV-C52/EOS-04 mission has been completed successfully. The primary mission of EOS-04 was placed into a very precise orbit by PSLV-C52. The secondary mission of INSPIREsat-1 and INS-2TD have also been placed into the right orbit,” said ISRO Chairman Shri. S. Somanath after the successful launch.
“Congratulations!” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted. “Our space scientists successfully launched the PSLV-C52 mission. EOS-04, our next spacecraft, will provide high-resolution images with soil moisture and hydrology as well as flood mapping under all weather conditions.”
Additionally, today’s launch is also the first after Somanath was appointed Secretary of the Department of Space and Chairman of the Space Commission recently. Thanking everyone who had contributed to the success of the mission, he said, “this spacecraft will be one of our most valuable assets in serving the country.”.
The Mission Director, SR Biju, said, “What we have accomplished today is truly marvelous.”
EOS-04, weighing 1710 kilograms and designed to serve for a period of 10 years, is a radar imaging satellite capable of providing high definition, high spatial resolution images under all weather conditions for use in agriculture, forestry, and land management applications, as well as flood mapping.
While INSPIREsat-1 is a collaboration between the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) and the Laboratory of Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado Boulder, INS-2TD is a technology demonstration.
INSPIREsat-1 carries two scientific payloads, each weighing 8.1 kg and designed to improve understanding of ionosphere dynamics and coronal heating.
With a mass of 17.5 kg, INS-2TD has a life expectancy of six months.
The launch of this mission marks the first PSLV launch after the failure of the EOS-03 mission launched last year. A technical anomaly with the system had caused the space agency to declare the mission a failure.
It is the 54th flight of PSLV and the 23rd flight with six PSOM-XLs (strap-on motors).
After a related satellite is lost during launch in 2021, the mission’s main satellite will monitor Earth.
ISRO’s next step? What’s in store for the space agency?
In addition to PSLV missions, Chandrayaan-3 will be launched this year, which is highly anticipated. As the required tests for the mission have been completed, ISRO has said that the mission will launch in August of this year. An orbiter, lander, and rover will succeed Chandrayaan-2. Isro will launch, however, only a lander and rover combination, using the orbiter that is already orbiting the moon from Chandrayaan-2.
Next, the unmanned Gaganyaan mission will be launched. The ambitious Gaganyaan program, which will launch the first batch of Indian astronauts into space on a spacecraft designed and developed by the country, will see a renewed push in 2022.
In the second half of 2022, the first uncrewed mission is likely to be conducted. During the second uncrewed mission, three Indian Air Force officers, who are undergoing training, will be launched into space.
In its 54th mission, India’s workhorse PSLV rocket climbed to the top of the SSO. OCEANSAT-3 and INS 2B ANAND will be carried into orbit by the PSLV-C53 mission in March.
According to ISRO chief S Somnath, the agency plans to launch five major satellites in the coming months.
Isro reactivated its launch program Monday after a successful launch on laid the groundwork for a successful launch phase in 2022 when missions that had been lost following Covid-19 and subsequent lockdowns will be launched again.
Throughout the year, several missions that had been postponed will be made to return to schedule.