Sriharikota (Andhra Pradesh): Indo-French oceanographic study satellite 'SARAL' and six foreign mini and micro spacecrafts were succesfully launched on Monday evening by ISRO's PSLV-C20 rocket from the spaceport at Sriharikota.
Indian Space Research Organisation's(ISRO) workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle(PSLV) lifted off from the first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre at around 6 pm at the end of the 59-hour countdown and placed in the orbit the satellites about 22 minutes later. President Pranab Mukherjee witnessed the launch from the mission control centre at Sriharikota, about 110 km from Chennai.
The lift-off was rescheduled to 6.01 pm, a five-minute delay, to avoid probability of collision with space debris, a normal precautionary step in a launch mission, ISRO sources said.
The 410-kg SARAL with payloads - Argos and Altika - from French space agency CNES is meant for study of ocean parameters towards enhancing the understanding of the ocean state conditions.
Besides SARAL, two micro-satellites UniBRITE and BRITE from Austria, AAUSAT3 from Denmark and STRaND from United Kingdom as also one micro-satellite (NEOSSat) and one mini-satellite (SAPPHIRE) from Canada were launched by PSLV, which yet again proved its versatality recording its 22nd succesful flight in a row in its 23 missions of which the first one had failed.
SARAL was injected first into the space about 18 minutes after the lift-off followed by other satellites in the space of about four minutes.