Indian PSLV-XL launch vehicle managed to deliver to orbit CartoSat-2E and 30 satellites as secondary payload after flawless launch conducted from Satish Dhawan Space Center.
This mission was fourth launch conducted by ISRO in 2017. Mission of PSLV was planned for 03:59 UTC; main objective was delivering Cartosat-2E satellite to Sun Synchronous Orbit to altitude of 505 km inclined 97.4 degrees to the equator.
Rocket was launched punctually at 03:59 UTC from Satish Dhawan Space Center. After 70 seconds first pair of boosters was jettisoned with last pair released at T+92″. Core stage was cut off at T+1’50” and second stage with Vikas-4 engine started to operate nominally. After another 49 seconds it jettisoned its payload fairing on altitude of 121 km. Second core stage was cut off at T+4’22” and later was released. After ballistic phase of flight at T+8’21” third stage was ignited and begun delivering satellites to 505 km orbit. At T+16′ Cartosat-2E was deployed. After around 40 seconds Niusat-1 and CeSat-1 were deployed as first pair with 10 seconds interval. Rest of the payload begun to be released at T+22′.
Cartosat-2E is high resolution imaging satellite designed and manufactured by ISRO. It will provide high resolution and multispectral images for Indian military and civilian agencies. Its main payload is 70 cm telescope and imaging units: high resolution panchromatic (65 cm resolution) and 4 channel and near IR imaging device (color images) operating with resolution at 2 m. Weighing 712 kg satellite was built on IRS-2 bus. It is powered by two solar arrays and onboard batteries. It will operate at SSO for 5 years.
PSLV-XL delivered also bunch of satellites from 15 countries with total mass of 243 kg and based on CubeSat standard (varying from 1U to 6U size) excluding 4 satellites based on another platforms.
PSLV-XL is extended version of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle which was developed by Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in the beginning of the nineties with maiden flight of on 20 September 1993. PSLV-XL was upgraded with larger (height is 13.5 m with diameter at 1 m) six strap-on boosters each able to store 30% more fuel (12200 kg) than regular boosters of PSLV. Rocket with length at 44 m weighs 320 t at start (comparing to 295 t of PSLV-G). Central core has four stages: first stage (with mass at 138200 kg, diameter at 2.8 m and length of 20 m) is powered by solid fueled (HTPB) S139 engine with 4800 kN of thrust. Second stage (weight at 24000 kg, diameter at 2.8 m and long for 12.8 m) is equipped with one Vikas engine liquid fueled with N2O4/UDMH and providing 799 kN of thrust. Third stage (mass at 7600 kg, diameter at 2 m and length of 3.6 m) is solid fueled with single HPS3 engine which generates 240 kN of thrust. Fourth stage is powered by two L-2-5 engines with thrust at 15.2 kN fueled with liquid MMH/MON propellant and weighs 2500 kg while its length is at 3 m and diameter at 1.3 m. PSLV-XL is able to lift up to 1425 kg to GTO orbit.