Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on 10 July 2015 successfully launched five British satellites into space from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikotta.
These satellites are three identical DMC3 optical earth observation satellites and two auxiliary satellites, viz., CBNT-1 and De-OrbitSail.
These all satellites, built by Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) and weighing 1440-kg, were launched aboard the 13th flight (PSLV-C28) of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
The three DMC3 satellites, each weighing 447 kg was placed into a 647 km Sun-Synchronous Orbit (SSO) using the high-end version of PSLV (PSLV-XL). PSLV-C28 is the ninth flight of PSLV in ‘XL’ configuration.
These international customer satellites are being launched as part of the arrangement entered into between DMC International Imaging (DMCii), a wholly owned subsidiary of SSTL, UK; and Antrix Corporation Limited (ANTRIX), the commercial arm of ISRO.
This was the heaviest commercial luggage carried by a PSLV rocket to date. It was also the biggest commercial launch of ANTRIX/ISRO. France’s SPOT 7 satellite that weighted 714 kg was the heaviest single foreign satellite carried by a PSLV rocket until now. It was launched on 30 June 2014.
Since 1999, India has launched 40 satellites (38 smaller and two bigger satellites) of foreign countries and the successful launch of the five British satellites took the tally to 45.