India will deploy its EMISAT intelligence-gathering satellite Monday via a PSLV launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre. The launch – which will also carry twenty-eight small satellites and demonstrate operation of the vehicle’s fourth stage as an orbiting experimental platform – is scheduled for 09:27 local time (03:57 UTC).
Monday’s launch, the second of the year for India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), involves a series of maneuvers for the rocket’s upper stage to insert twenty-nine deployable payloads into their pre-planned orbits over the first two hours of its flight.
Following separation of the last payload, the upper stage will maneuver to a final orbit where it will operate as a research platform, hosting three attached payloads to demonstrate this capability for future missions. The launch also tests a new configuration for the PSLV, a further intermediate between the lightest and heaviest versions of the rocket.
The primary payload, EMISAT, is a 436-kilogram (961-pound) satellite to be operated by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
Constructed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), who is also responsible for conducting Monday’s launch, EMISAT is based around the Indian Mini Satellite 2 (IMS-2) bus with solar panels providing 800 watts ...