The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), on its 18th flight, soared into the sky from the spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh this morning leaving behind a white plume of smoke.
Space scientists gathered at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre applauded every stage of the rocket`s progress and its placing of three satellites into orbit at an altitude of 822 kms exactly 18 minutes after lift-off.
Emerging out of the mission control centre, a beaming ISRO Chairman K Radhakrihanan announced the success of the mission terming it as a `text-book` launch. The rocket had maintained its desired trajectory all through the launch.
The rocket placed into orbit Resourcesat-2, an advanced earth observation satellite, Youthsat, the 92 kg Indo-Russian satellite for stellar and atmospheric studies, and the 106 kg X-SAT for imaging applications built by the Singapore-based Nanyang Technological University.
The 1,206 kg Resourcesat-2 with a space life of five years replaces Resourcesat-1 launched in 2003 and would provide data with enhanced multispectral and spatial coverage on natural resources.
The Resourscesat-2 with three high resolution cameras on a single platform would capture images that will be useful in assessing the health of crops, monitoring deforestation and water levels in reservoirs and lakes besides the snow-melt in the Himalayas.
The GSLV mission in December last year failed when the homegrown GSLV F06 carrying communication satellite GSAT-5P exploded mid-air less than a minute after lift-off and fell into the Bay of Bengal.
GSAT-5P, carrying 24 C-band and 12 extended C-band transponders, plunged into the sea when the destruct command was issued as the rocket veered from its flight path.
Earlier, the GSLV-D3 mission carrying GSAT-4 had also failed in April 2010, dealing a blow to India`s space program.
Today`s PSLV flight was its 17th successive mission after the failure of its maiden voyage in September 1993.
Radhakrishnan said the launch of two foreign satellites showed the PSLV`s reliability had been recognized internationally.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affiars and PMO V Narayanaswamy described the succesful launch as a landmark event and said the government supports such efforts by the scientists.