India launches monsoon tracking satellite

Updated: 2011-10-12 18:17


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NEW DELHI - India Wednesday launched its latest satellite, the Megha-Tropiques, and three other satellites into space from Sriharikota spaceport in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh to study the patterns and dynamics of the monsoon, an official said.

India launches monsoon tracking satellite

India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C-18 blasts off carrying the Indo-French tropical weather satellite Megha-Tropiques and three other smaller satellites from the Satish Dhawan space centre at Sriharikota, north of the southern Indian city of Chennai Oct 12, 2011. [Photo/Agencies] 

The 1,000-kg Indo-French satellite Megha-Tropiques was one of four hoisted into space, and all were successfully placed in orbit by India's Polar Satellite Launch vehicle-C18 following their launch by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) from Satish Dhawan space center, he said.

The three nano satellites include one built by students of SRM University near Chennai, a three-kg satellite Jugnu built by the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, and the other from Luxembourg.

"PSLV-C18 has been a grand success. Very precisely, four satellites were injected in space orbit and the difference between what we planned and what we achieved is just two km over an altitude of 867 km," ISRO Chairman Dr. K. Radhakrishnan said after the launch.

Built at a cost of 5 billion rupees ($100 million), India has contributed the satellite bus and rocket to launch the Megha-Tropiques into space. France has provided most of the hi- tech scientific instruments.

The Megha-Tropiques has day, night and all-weather viewing capabilities; it will pass over India almost a dozen times every day, giving scientists an almost real-time assessment of the evolution of clouds.