India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) successfully launched seven satellites, including Indo-French satellite SARAL, into the orbit on Monday evening, marking the country's advancement in space technology.
The PSLV-C20 rocket blasted off seven satellites weighing 668.5kg in a span of four minutes from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at 6.01 pm on Monday in the presence of President Pranab Mukherjee. It was scheduled to take off at 5:56 pm but was delayed by five minutes because of a possible collision with space debris.
"PSLV-C20 successfully launches Indo-French satellite SARAL and six other commercial payloads into the orbit. All Propellant filling operations are completed. Mobile Service Tower (MST) withdrawal to parking end (160 m) is completed," announced Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in its official website.
The successful launch marked ISRO's 103rd mission and the second highest number of satellites being launched by India's space agency. India successfully launched 10 satellites in a single mission in 2008.
PSLV first injected Indo-French oceanographic study satellite SARAL (409 kg) into the orbit, followed by AAUSAT3 (Denmark), BRITE and UniBRITE (Austria), SAPPHIRE and NEOSSat (Canada), and STRaND from United Kingdom.
SARAL, which was built by ISRO to study the ocean surface and environment was supposed to be launched in December 2012 but was postponed after detecting technical snag.
President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee, who witnessed the launch, congratulated and called upon ISRO to be in "forefront of promotion of innovation and technological advancement".
"I congratulate the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for successfully executing this Mission. I am confident that the SARAL spacecraft launched today would function as planned and perform as designed and serve the intended applications in Ocean Topography, Coastal Altimetry, Ocean currents monitoring and Animal migration studies worldwide," said the President while addressing the scientists and engineers.