Six foreign micro and mini spacecrafts as well as the Indo-French oceanographic study satellite, SARAL (Satellite for Argos-3 and Altika) were launched successfully by ISRO's PSLV-C20 rocket on 25 February 2013 from the spaceport at Sriharikota.
The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) of Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) flew from first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre and was successfully put into the orbit. The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee witnessed this launch from mission control centre at Sriharikota.
Satellites launched by PSLV-C20 rocket
• 410-kg SARAL with payloads - Argos and Altika
• Two micro-satellites UniBRITE and BRITE from Austria
• AAUSAT3 from Denmark
• STRaND from United Kingdom
• Micro-satellite (NEOSSat)
• Mini-satellite (SAPPHIRE) from Canada
These seven satellites were launched successfully by PSLV which depicted its versatility and recorded 22nd successful flight consecutive. ISRO also has plans to launch the Geo-Synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle that has indigenous cryogenic engine, along with the India’s mission to Mars, both of which are scheduled for 2013.
SARAL, the unique satellite
• SARAL is said to be a very unique satellite which serves the research community.
• This satellite will assist the researchers in oceanographic studies.
• SARAL will study the sea surface heights and ocean currents.
• ARGOS-2 will help in collecting the data, while Altikameter will be responsible for measuring the height of sea surface.
• SARAL will also assist researchers in studying about the climatic developments.
• Its practical applications include study of migration of the marine animals, continental ice studies, protection of biodiversity and coastal erosion.