In a textbook lift-off, ISRO launches seven Singapore satellites with PSLV-C56

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)'s workhorse launch vehicle PSLV-C56 on Sunday successfully launched seven Singapore satellites, including the primary payload DS-SAR, a Radar Imaging Earth Observation satellite, from the spaceport of SHAR Range, in Andhra Pradesh's Sriharikota.

ISRO successfully launches seven Singapore satellites with PSLV-C56. Photo courtesy: ISRO Twitter

"PSLV-C56/DS-SAR Mission fully accomplished," ISRO said, adding that all satellites were precisely launched into their intended orbits.

After a 25.5-hour countdown, the 44.4 m tall four-stage vehicle with a lift off mass of 228 tonnes, took off majestically from the First Launch Pad at 0630 hrs.  

Scientists at the Mission Control Centre, including ISRO Chairman S. Somnath, watched the trajectory of the flight with bated breath.

PSLV-C56/DS-SAR, is the dedicated commercial mission of NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) for ST Engineering, Singapore.

The launch was conducted by ISRO under a contract with New Space India Limited (NSIL).

After a flight duration of about 25 minutes, all seven satellites had to be injected into the orbit.

After a flight duration of 21 minutes, according to the mission plan, PSLV-C56 had to first launch the primary payload, DS-SAR, a 360 kg Radar Imaging Earth Observation satellite into a Near-equatorial Orbit (NEO) at 5 deg inclination and 535 km altitude.

All seven satellites were successfully deployed into their intended orbit, achieving the mission's objectives approximately 20 minutes after liftoff.

The DS-SAR satellite, a Synthetic-aperture radar (SAR), creates two-dimensional images or three-dimensional reconstructions of objects.

It is a collaborative project between DSTA, representing the Government of Singapore, and ST Engineering, and is designed to meet the imagery requirements of diverse Singapore government agencies and ST Engineering's clientele in the commercial sector.

Later, the six co-passenger satellites—also from Singapore—NuLIon by NuSpace—an advanced nanosatellite enabling seamless IoT connectivity in both urban & remote locations; ORB-12 STRIDER—a satellite developed under international collaboration, Galassia-2—a nanosatellite orbiting at low earth orbit; SCOOB-II—a nanosatellite flying a technology demonstrator payload; Arcade—an experimental satellite for atmospheric coupling and dynamics exploration and VELOX-AM—a technology demonstration microsatellite—will be placed in the orbit in that order in a span of four minutes.

The successful launch of PSLV-C56 and DS-SAR serves as a testament to India's growing prominence in the global space industry, strengthening collaborations and drawing the attention of commercial satellite operators from around the world.

This achievement not only generates revenue but also significantly contributes to the growth of India's space economy.

With this, ISRO has launched 531 foreign satellites and the fourth dedicated PSLV launch for the Singapore government to date.