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Tuesday, 24 April 2007 03:33

PSLV is India's first commercial rocket

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The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) allows India for the first time to sell its commercial launch vehicle to paying customers.

In this first successful Indian launch, the PSLV-C8 rocket sent up a 352 kilogram (776 pound) Italian satellite, the Agile from the Italian Space Agency, from its Sriharikota base in southern India at 15:30 Indian time.

Sriharikota is a barrier island that is located off the coast of Andhra Pradesh in India. It is about 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Chennai. Sriharikota is a part of the Satish Dhawan Space Center (SHAR). Besides the PSLV group of rockets, the group of geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV) rockets also uses the facility for launches.

The Italian payload was sent into an orbital inclination of 2.5 degrees, which is considered an equatorial orbit. The PSLV-C8 rocket also sent up as a secondary payload: the Advanced Avionics Module.

The PSLV is an expendable launch system that allows India to launch satellites into low Earth orbit (LEO). LEO is an orbit that is generally considered between 200 and 2,000 kilometers (124 to 1,240 miles) above the Earth’s surface. The PSLV is 44 meters (144 feet) in height, has a diameter of 2.8 meters (9.2 feet), and a mass of 294,000 kilograms (648.200 pounds). It can launch a payload with up to 3,250 kilograms (7,165 pounds) of weight.

The live launch video of the PSLV-C8 rocket is found at: http://www.indiaabroad.com/video/player.php?url=http://video.tv18online.com/cnnibn/flvstore/01_2007/pslv_launch_pcr.flv.

The PSLV is operated by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). Its website from the ISRO Department of Space is contained at: http://www.isro.org/pslv.htm.

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