Sriharikota: India has successfully launched its 46th flight of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C44) carrying Kalamsat, a communication satellite developed by students and India's military satellite Microsat-R from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
Addressing media after the successful launch of PSLV-C44 mission, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chief K Sivan said: "The ISRO is open to all students of India. Bring to us your satellites and we will launch it for you. Let's make India into a science-fairing nation."
He added: "PSLV-C44 mission successfully injected into Microsat - R. The mission is not ordinary; C44 is the first mission of PSLV-DL and is a new variant of PSLV. It's the lowest altitude the PSLV flown still now. Kalamsat which was built by space kids, they are here and I congratulate them."
The launch which took place at 11:37 pm is said to be unique as PSLV-C44 fourth stage was re-used automatically to launch Kalamsat payload and Microsat-R satellite into space from the First Launch Pad (FLP). PSLV is a four-stage launch vehicle with alternating solid and liquid stages.
The PSLV with two strap-on configuration was identified for this mission and the configuration is designated as PSLV-DL.
PSLV-C44 is the first mission of PSLV-DL and is a new variant of PSLV.
In PSLV-C44, the fourth stage (PS4) of the vehicle will be moved to a higher circular orbit so as to establish an orbital platform for carrying out experiments.
Kalamsat, a student payload, is the first to use PS4 as an orbital platform. PSLV-C44 also carried Microsat-R, an imaging satellite.
Earlier, ISRO Chairman K. Sivan said India's second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2, which was scheduled to be launched in late 2018, is now expected to be launched between March 25 and end of April this year.