Indian space agency launches five foreign satellites

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

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The Indian space agency, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), launched five foreign satellites from the Sriharikota facility on Monday morning, using the PSLV-C23 launch vehicle.

The primary payload was an earth observation satellite from France called SPOT 7 which weighed 714 kg. Other satellites included on board were the German AISat, 14 kg; Canadian NLS7.1 (CAN-X4) and NLS7.2 (CAN-X5), 15 kg each; and Singaporean VELOX 1, 7 kg.

The launch took place at 9:52 AM on Monday morning, delayed from the original schedule by three minutes to avoid space debris. This was the 26th successful launch of a PSLV. Along with the US, Russia, the European Union, China, and Japan, India is one of the few nations that offer commercial launch services. These services are provided by Antrix, the commercial department of ISRO. ISRO’s next major launch may be this month using a GSLV-III launch vehicle.

The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present at the launch site. He addressed the scientists after the launch congratulating them, and asked them to build a satellite suitable for use by all the nations of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). He also emphasized the frugal approach of India to the space industry. Phillipe Ghesquiers of Airbus Space and Defense Systems, the builders of SPOT 7, expressed satisfaction at the launch and stated they may use India’s launch services again in the future.



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