Isro to launch PSLV-C53 mission with three passengers from Singapore


Isro will launch three satellites from Singapore in the second dedicated commercial mission of NewSpace India Limited (NSIL)

The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) is set to launch three satellites from Singapore onboard its workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) on June 30. The PSLV-C53 mission will lift off from the Second Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota at 6 pm.

The Indian space agency said that the countdown for the mission will commence 25 hours ahead of launch at 5 pm on June 29. This will be the second dedicated commercial mission of NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), a corporate arm of the Department of Space.

While this will be the 55th mission of PSLV and the 15th mission using the PSLV-Core Alone variant, it is the 16th PSLV launch from the second launch pad. “The mission proposes to demonstrate the utilization of the spent upper stage of the launch vehicle as a stabilized platform for scientific payloads subsequent to the separation of the satellites,” Isro said in a statement.

The spacecraft will carry three satellites in its launch fairing DS-EO satellite and the NeuSAR, Singapore’s first small commercial satellite carrying a SAR payload, which is capable of providing images day and night and under all weather conditions.

Isro said that the DS-EO is a 365 kg satellite and NeuSAR weighs 155 kg. While both spacecraft belong to Singapore, they have been built by Starec Initiative in the Republic of Korea. The Third satellite is a 2.8 kg Scoob-1 of Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore.

DS-EO carries an Electro-Optic, multi-spectral payload with 0.5 m resolution imaging capability. Meanwhile, the SCOOB-I is the first satellite in the Student Satellite Series (S3-I), a hands-on student training program from the Satellite Research Centre (SaRC) at Singapore’s NTU School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

The second dedicated commercial mission of NSIL, PSLV-C53 has a lift-off mass of 228.433 tons and stands nearly 44.4 meters tall. The launch vehicle will inject DS-EO satellite into an orbit at an altitude of 570 km measured from the equator.

Isro will attempt a new experiment with the four-stage rocket and use the fourth stage (PS4) to perform PSLV Orbital Experimental Module (POEM) activity. Under this, the team will perform in-orbit scientific experiments using the spent PS4 stage as an orbital platform.

“It is the first time that PS4 stage would orbit the earth as a stabilized platform,” Isro said adding that POEM derives the power from the solar panels mounted around the PS4 tank and a Lithium-Ion battery and navigates using four sun sensors, a magnetometer, gyros & NavIC. It also carries dedicated control thrusters using Helium gas storage and is enabled with a telecommand feature.

POEM carries six payloads including two from Indian Space Start-ups M/s Digantara and M/s Dhruva Aerospace, enabled through IN-SPACe and NSIL.