India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C50 (PSLV-C50) rocket laden with the country’s communication satellite CMS-01 (formerly GSAT-12R) lifted off from the rocket port at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on Thursday evening.
The rocket with India’s 42nd communication satellite CMS-01 lifted-off from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota at 3.41 p.m.
CMS-01 satellite with a life span of seven years is envisaged for providing services in Extended-C Band of the frequency spectrum, which will include the Indian mainland, Andaman and Nicobar, and Lakshadweep Islands.
The CMS-01 will be a replacement for GSAT-12 that weighed 1,410 kg and was launched on July 11, 2011, with a mission life of eight years.
This is the first communication satellite that ISRO has sent up under its new naming scheme.
ISRO has recently decided to go generic in naming its satellites. It had earlier named its earth observation satellites as EOS and the communication satellites are being named as CMS.
“Nowadays satellites have multiple payloads for varied users and hence a thematic satellite may be a misnomer and ISRO might have decided to go for a generic name,” M. Annadurai, who retired as Director, U.R. Rao Satellite Centre (URSC), formerly ISRO Satellite Centre, had told IANS.
About 20 minutes into its flight, PSLV-C50 will eject the CMS-01 into geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) and from there, the satellite will be taken up and positioned at geosynchronous orbit.
The space mission is second from this rocket port and third for the country this year.
On November 7, ISRO launched radar imaging satellite EOS-01 (Earth Observation Satellite-01, formerly RISAT-2BR2) with a PSLV rocket.
Earlier on January 17, 2020, ISRO launched 3,357 kg communication satellite GSAT-30 by the European space agency Arianespace rocket Ariane 5.
The 44-meter-high four staged/engine PSLV-C50 is the 22nd flight of PSLV in ‘XL’ configuration (with six strap-on motors hugging the first stage). The rocket weighs 320 tonnes.
The PSLV in the normal configuration is a four stage/engine expendable rocket powered by solid and liquid fuels alternatively with six booster motors strapped on to the first stage to give higher thrust during the initial flight moments.
The Indian space agency has PSLV variants with two and four strap-on motors, larger PSLV-XL, and the Core Alone variant without any strap-on motors.
The choice of the rocket to be used for a mission depends on the weight of the satellite and the orbit where the satellite is to be orbited.