The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Wednesday successfully put six Singapore satellites in to the orbit.

At 1800 hrs, ISRO’s workhorse, the PSLV, a 44.4-m tall rocket weighting 227 tonne, roared into the clear blue sky from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, 80 km from Chennai.

As the rocket picked up momentum, it left behind a trail of orange smoke. It was a historical day for the space centre, the country’s premier rocket launch centre, which for the 50th time launched a huge rocket carrying a satellite or a capsule into the orbit since inception in 1979, said a senior ISRO official.

Wednesday’s launch was the second pure play commercial mission for ISRO in 2015. The first one was in July when ISRO launched five British satellites from here.  This takes ISRO’s total flights of foreign satellites to 57. Antrix Corporation, ISRO’s commercial arm, promotes and commercially exploits products and services emanating from ISRO.

The expendable rocket carrying six satellites of 620-kg payload slung them into their intended orbit in just over 21 minutes into its flight.

Of the six satellites, the 400 kg earth observation satellite called TeLEOS-1 is the main passenger giving the mission by ISRO its name TeLEOS mission. TeLEOS-1 is the first Singapore commercial Earth Observation satellite designed and developed by ST Electronics. This satellite was launched in to a low Earth orbit for remote sensing applications.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after the launch, tweeted the launch, coming at a time when we mark 50 years of India-Singapore ties, is significant. India cherishes strong relations with Singapore. Our scientists at ISRO accomplish another momentous feat. Congrats to them on PSLV-C29 successfully launching six Singapore satellites.”

ISRO Chairman AS Kiran Kumar speaking from the mission control room said, “We are done with launches in 2015. We will carry on the activity of putting satellites — communication, navigation and earth observation — into orbit and have lot more to achieve next year.”

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