India’s workhorse rocket, the polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV), will soon be in action to implement the PSLV-C55/TeLEOS-02 mission.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced on Monday (17 April) that the launch will take place on Saturday, 22 April, at 2.19pm (8.49am UTC).
The public can witness the launch from the launch view gallery at India’s spaceport Sriharikota. ISRO has shared a link to register for those interested.
PSLV-C55 will be a dedicated mission for Singapore, executed by New Space India Limited (NSIL). Thus, the primary payload will be the Singaporean satellite TeLEOS-02, most likely an Earth-observation satellite just like the predecessor TeLEOS-01.
TeLEOS-01 was Singapore’s first-ever commercial Earth-observation satellite. Designed and developed by Singapore’s ST Engineering (specifically ST Electronics), the satellite was launched by a PSLV rocket into near-equatorial orbit on 16 December 2015 (PSLV-C29/TeLEOS-1 mission).
Development of TeLEOS-02 commenced in 2017. It is Singapore's first synthetic aperture radar (SAR)-based imaging satellite.
The approximately 750 kg satellite will be capable of providing 1 m resolution data. It will be equipped with a 500 GB onboard recorder for recording the data captured and a high-speed 800 Mbps downlink.
“With the TeLEOS-2, round-the-clock, all weather satellite imagery would now be possible,” ST Engineering said on Facebook in 2018. “The imagery could be used for hotspot monitoring and haze management, air crash search and rescue operations and much more,” it added.
According to the Department of Space’s summary report for February, five experimental payloads, including from Dhruva Space (3U deployer, 6U deployer, Satellite Orbiter Link), have been assessed for deployment in PSLV-C55, as part of the PSLV Orbital Experimental Module (POEM). The current status is unclear.
Launch campaign activities for the PSLV-C55/TeLEOS-02 mission commenced on 10 February this year at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.
This mission will mark the 57th launch of the PSLV. However, it is the first ever rocket to have been integrated at the new PSLV Integration Facility, the Times of India reports.
Plus, the different stages of the rocket are said to have been integrated in a new way this time around, with the aim of cutting down time in the assembly process.
The previous PSLV mission, PSLV-C54/EOS-06, took place on 26 November 2023.
It involved placing in orbit the Earth-observation satellite Oceansat-3, along with eight other co-passenger satellites, most notably the ISRO Nano Satellite-2 for Bhutan (INS-2B) and three satellites (Anand and Thybolt 1 and 2) by two Indian space technology companies Pixxel and Dhruva Space.
The next PSLV mission, PSLV-C56, is expected to see the launch of the first Indian space mission to study the Sun, called Aditya-L1.
Karan Kamble writes on science and technology. He occasionally wears the hat of a video anchor for Swarajya's online video programmes.
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