October 12th, 2011
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PSLV- C18 successfully launched

PSLV C-18 successfully launchedSriharokota: India’s PSLV-C18 carrying the Indo-French tropical weather satellite Megha-Tropiques and three other Nano satellites were successfully launched into orbit from the first launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota at 11 am today.

PSLV-C18 which is 44 metres tall and weighs 230 tonnes carried four satellites together weighing 1,042.6 kg. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientists at the rocket’s mission control room are watching the PSLV-C18’s progress. Of the four satellites launched the Megha-Tropiques was the heaviest.

ISRO built Megha-Tropiques, an advanced tropical climate monitoring satellite, at a cost of Rs 80 crore with “equal contribution” from French government space agency, Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales. The French space agency Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) has built three instruments of Megha-Tropiques: SAPHIR, SCARAB and GPS-ROS. The fourth, MADRAS, is a joint effort of ISRO and CNES.

The term Megha-Tropiques  is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Megha’ meaning cloud and the French word ‘Tropiques’ which denotes tropics. The 1,000 kg Megha-Tropiques satellite is designed to study the water cycle and energy exchanges in the tropics. The satellite which will be placed at 867 Km from earth in its lower orbit will provide scientific data on contribution of the water cycle to the tropical atmosphere with information on condensed water in clouds, water vapour in the atmosphere, precipitation and evaporation. It will enable the India Meteorological Department (IMD) to forecast weather in a more precise manner.

According to ISRO, Megha-Tropiques with its circular orbit inclined 20 degree to the equator will enable climate research and also aid scientists seeking to refine weather prediction models. It will also study the impact of global warming on monsoons. The satellite has day, night and all-weather viewing capabilities. It will give scientists an almost real- time assessment of the evolution of clouds.

“The whole world is looking at this mission… many countries around the world are interested to share the data with us,” said  Dr G Raju, the Project Director at ISRO for the  Megha Tropiques.

India is the second nation in the world to launch such a space mission. The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) — a joint mission of NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) designed to monitor and study tropical rainfall –was launched Nov 27, 1997.

The other three nano satellites are the 10.9 kg SRMSAT built by the students of SRM University near Chennai, the three kg remote sensing satellite Jugnu from the Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur and the 28.7 kg VesselSat from LuxSpace of Luxembourg to locate ships on high seas.

Data received from Jugnu will be studied with a tracking system installed at IIT-Kanpur and pictures and information received from it will be used for research. The 3 kg Jugnu is a remote-sensing satellite that will minor vegetation and water-bodies. It will also help gather information on floods, drought and disaster management.The 11kg SRMSat will address the problem of global-warming and the pollution levels in the atmosphere by monitoring the carbon-dioxide present there.VesselSat will help in locating ships cruising in the sea-lanes of the world. This is the fourth ISRO mission this year, including one launched from French Guyana.

 

 

 

 

 



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