This launch marked the 57th flight of PSLV and the 16th mission using the PSLV Core Alone configuration, the lightest version of the launch vehicle
|The Author is Former Director General of Information Systems and A Special Forces Veteran, Indian Army|
On April 22, 2023, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle ‘PSLV-C55’ carrying two Singapore satellites from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota and placed them into the intended orbit. The two Singaporean satellites TeLEOS-2 and Lumelite-4 were carried aboard PSLV-C55, which also carried out experiments with seven payloads attached to its PS4 upper stage. ISRO tweeted, “PSLV-C55/TeLEOS-2 mission is accomplished successfully. In a textbook launch, the vehicle placed TeLEOS-2 and LUMELITE-4 satellites precisely into their intended 586 km circular orbit.”
Nearly 20 minutes after being launched, PSLV-C55 placed TeLEOS-2 in an orbit 586 km above earth. After that, the 16 kg Lumelite-4 was also placed into the desired orbit. The TeLEOS-2 satellite has been developed under a partnership between the Defence Science and Technology Agency of Singapore and ST Engineering, a Singaporean technology and engineering group. Once deployed and operational, it will be used to support satellite imagery requirements of various agencies in Singapore. TeLEOS-2 carries a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) payload. It will provide all-weather day and night coverage.
ISRO’s PSLV-C55 mission on April 22, 2023 also flew two variants of Dhruva Space’s Satellite Orbital Deployers and one variant of their upcoming Radio Frequency modules
The Lumelite-4 satellite has been co-developed by the Institute for Infocomm Research of A*STAR and Satellite Technology and Research Centre of the National University of Singapore. Lumelite-4 is an advanced 12U satellite developed for the technological demonstration of the high-performance space-borne VHF data exchange system. It aims to augment Singapore’s electronic navigation maritime safety systems.
This launch marked the 57th flight of PSLV and the 16th mission using the PSLV Core Alone configuration, the lightest version of the launch vehicle as it has four core stages and no strap-on boosters to provide added thrust. The mission also had a PSLV Orbital Experimental Module, where the spent PS4 stage of the launch vehicle would be utilised as an orbital platform to carry out scientific experiments through non-separating payloads. Speaking to the media after the launch ISRO chairman S. Somnath said the first uncrewed Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) rocket is expected to be launched in February 2024 as part of the Gaganyaan mission. Before that, there will be two key tests for the mission, which are expected in the coming months.
The Minister of Science & Technology congratulated the space agency for another successful mission
The Minister of Science & Technology congratulated the space agency for another successful mission saying, “Kudos to ISRO for the successful launch of PSLV-C55/TeLEOS-2 mission.” In December 2022, Singh had said that India’s maiden human space flight ‘Gaganyaan’ was being planned for launch in fourth quarter of 2024 and before that the uncrewed G1 mission in last quarter of 2023, followed by the second uncrewed G2 mission in the second quarter of 2024. Gaganyaan aims to demonstrate human space flight capability by launching a crew of three members to an orbit of 400 km for a three-day mission and bringing them back safely to earth. Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, also congratulated ISRO for its successful launch of two Singapore-made satellites from its spaceport through its PSLV.
ISRO’s PSLV-C55 mission on April 22, 2023 also flew two variants of Dhruva Space’s Satellite Orbital Deployers and one variant of their upcoming Radio Frequency modules. Interfacing of the spacecraft with the launch vehicle is a critical component to the deployment of satellites. Dhruva Space has indigenously-developed satellite deployment systems that are compatible with Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV); these are in form factors 1U, 3U, 6U, 12U and 16U. Hyderabad-based Dhruva Space is a full-stack Space-Engineering solutions provider.
The first uncrewed Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) rocket is expected to be launched in February 2024 as part of the Gaganyaan mission
In June 2022, Dhruva Space successfully space-qualified its 1U Satellite Orbital Deployer (DSOD-1U) onboard ISRO’s PSLV-C53 mission. Following this, onboard ISRO’s PSLV-C54 mission on 26 November 2022, Dhruva Space designed and successfully deployed into Low Earth Orbit (LEO) two amateur communication satellites, Thybolt-1 and Thybolt-2. Dhruva Space Orbital Link (DSOL) Mission’s in-Space experiments by Dhruva Space will utilise the PSLV Orbital Experimental Module (POEM) which allows in-orbit scientific experiments using the spent PS4 stage as an orbital platform.
The C55 mission of PSLV on April 22, 2023 flew 3U Satellite Orbital Deployer (DSOD-3U) & 6U Satellite Orbital Deployer (DSOD-6U). Now onboard ISRO’s PSLV-C55, Dhruva Space will be Space-qualifying their 3U and 6U Satellite Orbital Deployers. These deployers are also able to accommodate more or larger CubeSats. The PSLV-C55 mission was the third mission to space by Dhruva Space in less than a year. The company aims to eventually fly their own or their customer payloads on every PSLV mission of ISRO. Opening up space to the private sector is doing wonders to India’s advancements in space.