As reported by Space News, India has successfully placed several satellites into orbit. The satellites were carried aloft as payload aboard an Indian PSLV rocket on September 28. The rocket blasted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Center.
The PSLV carried the Astrosat satellite. Operating under the auspices of the Indian Space Research Organisation, Astrosat will spend the next five years observing astronomical objects in X-ray, ultraviolet, and optical wavelengths. Astrosat weighs 1,513 kilograms and will orbit at an altitude of 650 kilometers.
The rocket also carried the LAPAN-A2 satellite for the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space, Indonesia’s space agency. This satellite boasts an optical imager with four-meter ground resolution. The second in the series, LAPAN-A2 was built using skills learned by Indonesian engineers while training in satellite fabrication at the Technical University of Berlin.
In addition to the Indian and Indonesian satellites, the PSLV also carried several commercial satellites. The PSLV carried a total of seven satellites into orbit. Among them was exactEarth-9, built by Canadian company Com Dev.
Also on the rocket were four Lemur-2 cubesats, each weighing four kilograms, built by Spire Global of San Francisco. With this successful deployment, Spire has become the third commercial company to launch a constellation of cubesats equipped with an Automatic Identification System (AIS), a system by which coastal management agencies can identify ships and determine their speed and heading. The AIS extends these capabilities beyond the range of coastal radar.