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GS 3: Science & Technology | Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, Nano-technology, Bio-technology

Why in News?

Isro’s PSLV-C44 lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre on Thursday (January 24), carrying India’s military satellite Microsat-R and students’ payload Kalamsat.

Details of launch:

  • The national space agency’s rocket, PSLV C44 carried the satellites into the orbit.
  • After about 14 minutes into the flight, the rocket ejected the 700-kg Microsat R satellite at an altitude of about 277 km.
  • With this launch, India became the first country to use the fourth stage of a space rocket as an orbital platform for micro-gravity experiments.

Kalamsat Satellite:

  • The Kalamsat is a 10 cm cube nanosatellite weighing about 1.2 kg and has a life span of about two months.
  • Kalamsat, prepared by a student and Chennai-based Space Kidz India, is a small satellite (10 x 10 x 10 cm) and is meant for HAM radio services.
  • It has been developed by Space Kidz India and their team including Rifath Sharook, Srimathy Kesan, among others.
  • The Kalamsat satellite was the first to use fourth stage (PS4) of the launch vehicle PSLV-C44 as an orbital platform. The fourth stage moved to higher circular orbit so as to establish an orbital platform for carrying out experiments.

PSLV-C44 rocket:

  • The PSLV is a four-stage engine expendable rocket with alternating solid and liquid fuel.
  • One of the specialties of the launch was the configuration of the rocket. ISRO used the aluminium tank for the first time in the fourth stage of the launch of PSLV C 44.
  • In its normal configuration, the rocket would have six strap-on motors hugging the its first stage. However, for the launch of Kalamsat and Microsat-R satellites, the rocket carried only two strap-on motors by the sides of the first fuel stage at the bottom.
  • This was the first time the launch vehicle is built in this configuration known as PSLV-DL.
  • This will reduce the weight and increase the mass in the four-stage engine expendable rocket with alternating solid and liquid fuel.
  • After parking the satellites in the intended orbits, the fourth stage of the rocket will be taken to a circular orbit in space for carrying out certain experiments by the scientists.
  • Normally, the fourth stage is kept deserted in space after the injection of the satellites. This time, it will be kept ‘live’ for carrying out innovative studies.
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