India’s 46 year old space programme received another boost today when in one single mission, India successfully launched Oceansat-2 and six European nano satellites. Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C14) carried these satellites from the SHAR Range at Sriharikota on Wednesday morning.
The main purpose of the India’s ocean monitoring satellite is to help spot the fishing zones in the sea by keeping track of the ocean temperatures. This is the 16th mission for India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and comes about a month after the Chandrayaan 1 Mission ended.
The PSLV-C14 is about 44.4 metre tall and has a four-stage mechanism weighing over 230-tonnes. Oceansat-2 weighs 960kgs and is carrying two devices: the Ocean Colour Monitor and a Microwave Scatterometer, which help in tracking the onset of monsoon by measuring the wind speed over the surface of the ocean. It took off without its six strap-on motors as all the seven satellites put together weighed less than 1000 kg. It was the same PSLV that had successfully launched Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft last year.
Oceansat-1 was launched in 1999 and Oceansat-2 will help provide continuity to the work started by it’s predecessor.