Indian rocket puts 29 satellites in orbit

PSLV launch
India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle lifts off from the Satish Dhawan Space Center. (ISRO Photo)

India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle has put a military satellite and 28 secondary payloads into orbit, with Seattle-based Spaceflight and other commercial ventures playing supporting roles.

The PSLV C45 mission lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Center at 9:27 a.m. local time April 1 (8:27 p.m. PT March 31). The primary payload was India’s Electro-Magnetic Intelligence Satellite, or EMISAT, which is reportedly designed to intercept radar transmissions for military intelligence purposes.

“This will certainly add to our capabilities, but getting into specifics is not good for us,” Sateesh Reddy, who heads India’s Defense Research and Development Organization, told The Times of India.

The launch came just days after India demonstrated its anti-satellite capability by firing a ground-based missile to down one of its own satellites in low Earth orbit

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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