The countdown to the PSLV-C40 launch is underway! With the launch quickly approaching, all Spaceflight integration activities are complete! As Spaceflight’s most complex mission to date, here’s a quick look of the insides of a launch campaign.
Most of the satellites arrived in Seattle in November for integration into their individual or shared dispenser slots. Then the satellites had a long journey on a cargo aircraft across the world to India, arriving at Chennai airport before getting on a slow-moving truck to Sriharikota High Altitude Range (SHAR).
The Spaceflight team arrived several days later for a barrage of activities. CubeSats and dispensers were finalized in their dispenser locations. We were present for ISL’s door closure on all of the dispensers and then had some time to explore a bit of India and spend the holidays together.
Following New Years, we quickly returned to SHAR, also known as Satish Dhawan Space Center (SDSC), for the many integration activities. We did a matchmate of the separation system used in with our customer, ICEYE’s, micro satellite, POC-1. After a day of moving all satellites and equipment into the stack-build-up clean room, we did our final checks on the separation system and started bolting the separation system and the dispensers to the ISRO Multi-Satellite Adapter (MSA). This MSA was then enclosed in a cage called the Dual Payload Adapter (DPA) with the primary satellite stacked on top and then moved to the launch pad! We sent the satellites off to the launch pad with an Indian traditional ceremony including breaking a coconut for good luck.
We are all anxiously awaiting the upcoming launch, excited for PSLV’s Return to Flight. Spaceflight has contracted for 20 satellites on this mission, 5 of these which were managed by our partner, Innovative Space Logistics (ISL). Our mission patch shows the satellites managed by Spaceflight with each cube representing ~1U and the ICEYE POC-1 satellite represented on the left. The C40 is the Indian designation of this launch and we are thrilled to be a part of it!
For a link to view the launch, please check out most Indian news channels for live streaming or one of these links: