India launches seven Singaporean satellites

The satellites took off at 6.31am local time on board a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in South India. PHOTO: INDIAN SPACE RESEARCH ORGANISATION/FACEBOOK

NEW DELHI: Seven Singaporean satellites were launched successfully by India into their intended orbits on Sunday, further deepening space collaboration between the two countries.

They took off at 6.31am local time on board a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, off the coast of Andhra Pradesh in South India.

The primary satellite on board this mission, which was dedicated entirely to Singapore, was DS-SAR, a 352kg radar imaging earth observation satellite developed through a partnership between Singapore’s Defence Science and Technology Agency and ST Engineering.

Once deployed and operational, it will support satellite imagery requirements of various Singaporean government agencies. The satellite, equipped with a radar payload developed by Israel Aerospace Industries, can provide all-weather, as well as day-and-night coverage, at a 1-metre resolution.

Another payload for the mission was the NuLIoN nanosatellite from NuSpace, a Singaporean firm that provides Internet of Things connectivity across areas in the South-east Asia region with limited to non-existent communication infrastructure.

The rocket also carried the ORB-12 Strider satellite, developed under an international collaboration coordinated by Singapore-based space-tech company Aliena. It will demonstrate next-generation propulsion systems for small satellite constellations.

Other satellites on board this mission executed by NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), Isro’s commercial arm, included those from Nanyang Technological University and National University of Singapore.

All seven satellites were successfully injected into their orbits less than 24 minutes after the lift-off that was accompanied by claps and whistles from the public viewing gallery on a cloudy monsoon morning.

The mission follows the PSLV-C55 one in April, which successfully launched two other Singaporean satellites. As many as 20 Singaporean satellites have so far been launched by India, including those on Sunday.

Thanking Isro for the “marvellous and precise mission”, Mr Radhakrishnan Durairaj, NSIL’s chairman and managing director, said he hoped Singapore would “continue to have trust on our services and the most reliable launcher – the PSLV”.

“I am sure they will offer many more opportunities for us to give them the best launch in the international community,” he added in a short address soon after the launch.

Sunday’s mission was the 58th on the PSLV, which, since its development in 1993, has emerged as Isro’s reliable workhorse for satellite launches, with a success rate of more than 94 per cent.

India has launched more than 425 satellites for 36 countries and has been making efforts in recent years to corner a greater share of the global launch market, estimated to be around US$9.15 billion (S$12.18 billion). - The Straits Times/ANN

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India , Launch , Satellites , Singapore Owned , Seven


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