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PICS: India launches 100th space mission successfully

Last updated on: September 9, 2012 15:07 IST

PICS: India launches 100th space mission successfully

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Vicky Nanjappa

It was a historic day for the Indian Research Space Organisation on Sunday, says Vicky Nanjappa

In its 100th mission, the space organisation blasted off two foreign satellites from the Sriharikota space station in Andhra Pradesh in the presence of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.

The blast off took place at 9.51 am on Sunday morning following a 51-hour countdown which began on September 7th. The launch of the PSLV C-21 which is carrying French Advanced remote sensing sattelite weighing 720 kilograms Spot-6, and the 15 kg japanese micro satellite Proiteres is the 100th mission of the ISRO.

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PICS: India launches 100th space mission successfully

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However the 100th mission is a commercial one and does not have an Indian satellite. The Prime Minister who was at the launch site was seen applauding the scientists when the launch took place successfully.

This commercial venture for ISRO is considered to be one of the biggest after the PSLV had put into orbit the Agile of Italy in the year 2007.

SPOT-6, built by ASTRIUM SAS,a subsidiary of EADS, France, is an earth observation satellite, while PROITERES, developed by students and faculty of Osaka Institute of Technology, will study Kansai region of Japanese island of Honshu.

This is a milestone in itself says K Radhakrishnan, the chairman of ISRO. The 51-hour countdown commenced at 06:51 on September 7, 2012.

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PICS: India launches 100th space mission successfully

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During the countdown, propellant-filling operations of the liquid propellant second stage (PS2) and fourth stage (PS4) of the launch vehicle were carried out.

The day is more significant as it is the 100th mission of ISRO which started off with the Aryabhatta in the year 1975. Prior to this the ISRO has launched 36 indegenous rockets and 63 Indian-made satellites and also not to mention the Chandrayan-1 in the year 2008. ISRO has also lined up 60 more launches in the next 5 years.

ISRO is now gearing up for its ambitious Mars mission which is known as the Mangalyaan. Although there is no specific date given for the launch, scientists at ISRO say that the mission would take place next year if everything goes as per plan.

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Tags: ISRO , PICS , PS4 , PS2

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Among a large list of successes, ISRO has had its shares of failures too. The Antrix Devas deal and the failure of the Geo synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle or the GSLV which has had mid air explosions could be the major failure points for the ISRO.

ISRO chief K Radhakrishnan declined to divulge the cost of Sunday's mission, saying it was paid by the customers. Mission Director Kunhali Krishnan termed the launch a 'grand success' and said all four stages of the rocket performed 'exceedingly well'.

The historic mission was described as a 'spectacular success' by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who keenly watched the launch sequence at the mission control centre at Satish Dhawan Space Centre here, about 110 km from Chennai.

"I warmly congratulate the Department of Space and all members of Indian Space Research Organisation fraternity for this spectacular success," he told the scientists minutes after the successful launch.




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