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Home > News > PTI

PSLV-C8 blasts off with Italian payload

T K Rohit in Sriharikota | April 23, 2007 11:06 IST
Last Updated: April 23, 2007 16:20 IST

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PSLV-C8 blasted off into space carrying an Italian astronomical satellite, AGILE, from ISRO's Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on Monday, marking India's first fully commercial launch.

Scientists cheered as the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its 11th flight, soared into the clear sky in a perfect lift-off around 1530 hours from the space port, about 100 km north of Chennai.

The 44 metre tall four-stage PSLV placed Italian satellite AGILE into orbit at 550 km above the earth.

Besides the 352 kg AGILE, the PSLV is also carrying ISRO's Advanced Avionics Module, weighing 185 kg, to flight-test advanced avionics such as mission computers, navigation and telemetry systems for use in future launch vehicles.

This is also the first time the PSLV is flying without the six strap-on booster motors of its first stage. This has been done in view of the much lighter payload.

The combined weight of Agile and AMM is only about 540 kg. The satellite will be used to investigate gamma ray bursts, pulsars and supernova remnants. PSLV had earlier launched six small foreign satellites into 550-800 km high polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO) from abroad for a nominal fee.

This time, international rate was being charged by the Antrix Corporation Limited, the commercial arm of the Department of Space, making it the first fully commercial launch by the ISRO.

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