Friday, September 13, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Metsat in orbit

Polar satellite launch vehicle PSLV-C4, carrying an exclusive metrological satellite METSAT
Polar satellite launch vehicle PSLV-C4, carrying an exclusive metrological satellite METSAT, takes off on Thursday evening from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota.
— PTI photo

Sriharikota, September 12
Metsat, India’s first exclusive meteorological satellite, was successfully injected into a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) by PSLV-C4, 21 minutes after the launch vehicle soared majestically into the sky from Satish Dhawan Space Centre here this evening.

The 44.4-metre-tall rocket, weighing 295 tonnes and carrying the all-weather satellite, lifted off from here at 3.57 p.m.

“The launch and the injection of the satellite into the GTO (4.18 p.m.) have taken place with clockwise precision,” ISRO officials said.

For meteorological observation, the satellite carries a very high resolution radiometer, capable of imaging the earth in the visible, thermal infrared and water vapour bands. Metsat also carries a data relay transponder for collecting data from unattended meteorological platforms.

It will relay the data sent by these platforms to the Meteorological Data Utilisation Centre in New Delhi. Such platforms have been installed all over the country.

Unlike the earlier multi-functional satellites, the exclusive weather satellite is expected to help in more accurate prediction of monsoon and cyclones. Meteorological services were earlier combined with telecommunication and broadcasting in the Insat satellites.

Families of ISRO employees, who had gathered to witness the historic launch, burst into applause when the 295-tonne vehicle blasted off.

Scenes of ecstasy and jubilation were witnessed at the Mission Control Centre as computer screens flashed the sequence of the injection of the satellite into the GTO.

An extremely delighted ISRO chief, Dr K. Kasturirangan, shared his joy with fellow scientists by hugging and shaking hands with them.

For its flight to GTO, PSLV-C4 had undergone some major changes, including improvements in the solid-propellant third stage and liquid-propellant fourth and terminal stage. PTI, UNI

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