In its sixth flight conducted today (October 22, 2001) from SHAR Centre,
Sriharikota, ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C3, successfully
launched three satellites — Technology Experiment Satellite (TES) of
ISRO, BIRD of Germany and PROBA of Belgium — into their intended orbits.
This is the second time that PSLV launched three satellites simultaneously;
in the previous launch in May 1999 PSLV had launched India’s IRS-P4 along
with German DLR and Korean KITSAT-3.

While TES and BIRD (Bispectral and Infrared Remote Detection) satellites
were placed in the 568 km sun-synchronous orbit, PROBA (Project for On
Board Autonomy) was placed in an elliptical orbit with a perigee (nearest
to earth) of 568 km and an apogee (farthest to the earth) of 638 km.
The higher orbit for PROBA was achieved by firing the reaction control
thrusters of PSLV-C3 fourth stage.

PSLV-C3 lifted off Sriharikota at 10:23 a.m. [local time, 0453 UTC] with
the ignition of the core first stage and four strap-on motors, the
remaining two strap-on motors of the first stage were ignited at 25 sec
after lift-off. After going through the planned flight events including
the separation of the ground-lit strap-on motors, the air lit strap-on
motors and first stage separation, the ignition of the second stage,
separation of the heat shield after the vehicle had cleared the dense
atmosphere, third stage ignition, third stage separation, third stage
ignition, third stage separation, fourth stage ignition and fourth stage
cut-off, the satellites were systematically injected into the orbit as
per plan.

The first satellite to be ejected into the orbit was ISRO’s TES at a
height of 572 km after 970 seconds from lift-off. About 40 seconds later,
the second satellite, BIRD, was separated from the fourth stage and
equipment bay. Subsequently, the fourth stage reaction control thrusters
of PSLV was fired to raise the orbit of the equipment bay along with the
third satellite, PROBA, to a height of 590 km before the satellite was
ejected, 1658 second from lift-off. The satellites were ejected after
suitable reorientation of the equipment bay to avoid any collision
between the satellites and the fourth stage-equipment bay combination.
All the three satellites have been placed in their intended polar
sun-synchronous orbits.

* Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C3

* Prime Minister Congratutates Scientists

[NOTE: An image of the launch is available at]