30 In a Row: India’s PSLV Launches Space Observatory, Spire Cubesats

30 In a Row Credit ISRO

30 In a Row
Credit ISRO

India conducted the 31st flight of its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) earlier today in a mission which boosted that nation’s first space observatory, ASTROSAT, as well as four uniquely named cubesats for U.S. based Spire.

The PSLV flew in its heavy configuration, the XL version which includes six solid strap-on boosters and lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota on the Bay of Bengal at 10:00 am IST. Following a flawless launch, the 30th consecutive successful PLSV booster placed its payloads into a 644.6 X 651.5 km orbit inclined an inclination of 6 degrees.

PSLV’s primary payload, the 1513 kg ASTROSAT  Multi Wavelength Space Observatory, is intended to observe deep space in four different electromagnetic spectrum; Visible, Ultraviolet, Low Energy X-Ray and High Energy X-Ray.

Also delivered to orbit were six smaller spacecraft, including the first four Lemur-2 satellites to be deployed for the San Francisco based Spire, which is developing a constellation of LEO weather and maritime tracking cubesats. Each of the satellites caries the name of a different team member, with today’s designations being LEMUR2-PETER, LEMUR2-JOEL, LEMUR2-JEROEN, and LEMUR2-CHRIS.

In addition to comprising the first deployment of what Spire calls the world’s first commercial weather satellite network, these were also the first U.S. built cubesats to be launched from India. The launch was facilitated by Antrix Corporation Limited, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Posted in: CubeSats, India Space

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