ISRO successfully launches CMS-01 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota

India’s communication satellite CMS-01 was successfully launched by PSLV-C50 on Wednesday December 17, 2020 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota.

PSLV-C50 lifted off from the Second Launch Pad of SDSC SHAR at 15:41 hours (IST) carrying CMS-01. After a flight of about 20 minutes 12 seconds, the vehicle injected the satellite into its intended orbit.

After injection, the solar panels of CMS-01 were automatically deployed and ISRO’s Master Control Facility at Hassan has assumed the control of the satellite. In the coming days, orbit raising manoeuvers will be executed to position the satellite in the Geostationary Orbit at its designated location.

After the successful launch, ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan appreciated the tireless efforts of both the satellite and launch vehicle teams in realising this mission amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

CMS-01 is a communication satellite envisaged for providing services in Extended-C Band of the frequency spectrum. The Extended-C Band coverage will include Indian mainland, Andaman-Nicobar & Lakshadweep Islands. CMS-01 is the 42nd Communication Satellite of India.

PSLV-C50 is the 52nd flight of PSLV and 22nd flight of PSLV in ‘XL’ configuration (with 6 strap-on motors). This was the 77th launch vehicle mission from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota.

Talking about the upcoming PSLV-C51 mission, Dr K Sivan said “The mission will be fruition of the space reforms recently introduced in the country.” Further he added that the mission will carry three satellites built by private entities.

Earlier on Jan. 17, 2020, ISRO launched 3,357 kg communication satellite GSAT-30 by the European space agency Arianespace rocket Ariane 5.

Further, CMS-01 is the first communication satellite that ISRO has orbited under its new satellite naming scheme.

ISRO has recently decided to go generic in naming its satellites. It had earlier named its earth observation satellites as EOS and the communication satellites are being named as CMS.

“Nowadays satellites have multiple payloads for varied users and hence a thematic satellite may be a misnomer and ISRO might have decided to go for a generic name,” said M. Annadurai, who retired as director of U.R. Rao Satellite Center (formerly ISRO Satellite Centre).

Be that as it may, at about 3.41 p.m. the 320 tonne-PSLV-C50 rocket blasted off from the second launch pad here and slowly rose-up towards the skies with thick orange flame at its tail.

The rocket slowly gained speed as it went up while emitting a rolling thunder sound.

About 20 minutes into its flight, the PSLV-C50 rocket ejected CMS-01 into geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) and from there, the satellite will be taken up and positioned at geosynchronous orbit.

The Indian space agency had earlier planned the maiden launch of its new small rocket Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) carrying EOS-02 (Earth Observation Satellite), and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-F10 (GSLV) carrying EOS-3 before the close of 2020.

The other Indian satellites that are ready for launch are GISAT and Microsat-2A.

The launch of the GISAT-1 satellite slated for March 5 this year was postponed due to technical reasons a day before the launch.

The GISAT-1 satellite will be carried by a GSLV rocket. The GSLV rocket was dismantled after the launch was called off and is being refurbished. The rocket’s cryogenic engine has been brought down and it is being readied again.

But they all will have to wait for the dawn of 2021.

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