New Delhi: Sunday's launch of Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO's) 100th mission involved the PSLV-C21 launcher putting SPOT 6, a French Earth Observation Satellite weighing 712 kg, in orbit. This makes it the heaviest foreign satellite that ISRO has put in orbit, a unique feat to complement a century of missions. SPOT 6 is capable of imaging the earth with a resolution of 1.5 metres, and has been built by the European Astrium SAS.
Apart from that, PROITERES, a Japanese micro satellite, weighing in at 15 kg, has also been taken to space by the launch vehicle as auxiliary payload. It is intended to study the behaviour of an electric thruster when used to power a small satellite. It would further be used to observe the Kansai region of Japan's island of Honshu.
The PSLV-C21 lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota at 9.51 AM on Sunday. SPOT 6 and PROITERES were the 28th and 29th satellites to be launched into space by ISRO, a venture of its commercial arm Antrix.