Saturday, February 19, 2022

Maldives Witnesses The PSLV-C52, ISRO's Maiden Launch Mission Of 2022

PSLV-C52 - ISRO - 02

After long last, the Indian Space Research Organisation [ISRO] executed a satellite launch, with the PSLV-C52, it's first in 2022. Carrying the RISAT-1A [EOS-4] as the primary payload, piggybacking it were two microsatellites - the experimental Indo-Bhutanese INS-2TD & Indo-US INSPIREsat-1 [Mission Brochure].

With launch countdown ending at 5:59 AM this morning, the mission was a textbook success case. A video emerged, subsequently, of the launch, as seen in the island Nation of Maldives, around 1300 kilometres south of the launch site.

via MvCrisis

At any other time, a PSLV mission wouldn't be as news-worthy - a Space Transportation System [STS], that first took off 29 years ago. In fact, ISRO has been looking to hive off PSLV missions to private entities, so that it could devote it's resources for it's other, upcoming projects. That said, the C52 mission acquired significance for two reasons - first, this is ISRO's first launch mission after a year's gap &, second, the RISAT-1A/EOS-4 satellite has Strategic applications. It's next mission, the PSLV-C53, is scheduled for March 2022.

H/T @lraghavandr

In an interesting hobbyist video capture, shared on Twitter, at 13 seconds, we can see the PSLV's separation of Stage 1[PS1], followed by Stage 2 ignition [PS2].

Amongst it's other, upcoming projects in 2022, ISRO has set it's sight on an unmanned launch of Gaganyaan, its manned Space mission. Also to be debuted is the SSLV STS, a much delayed project. Many of it's Earth Observation Satellites [EOS], too, have remained grounded. It has been citing the prevailing Pandemic as the cause for not executing missions. This reason, however, treads on thin ice, given the launches Chinese & American entities have notched during this same period.

PSLV-C52 - ISRO - Flight Sequence

There were online disapproving rumblings about the manner in which the previous Chief, who recently demitted office, managed affairs of the Organisation during the period. If that is the case, then hope that, with a new Chief now helming ISRO, it demonstrates a Northwards trajectory of Mission launches.


Header picture, of the PSLV-C52, as photographed from a flight between Nagpur & Mumbai.

Also Read: This Rare Blip Of A Clip Shows India's First Hovercraft Performing Donuts