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PSLV leaves on its 23rd journey with SARAL satellite
India on Monday launched 410 kg satellite SARAL in space, second in the series, using Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). The ISRO-built Indo-French satellite SARAL and six other small satellites from Canada, Austria, Denmark and the UK was placed in the orbit in the presence of President Pranab Mukherjee.

SARAL is equipped with payloads-Argos and Altika-from French space agency CNES for study of ocean parameters towards enhancing the understanding of the ocean state conditions, which are otherwise not covered by the in-situ measurements.

The Indo-French satellite will provide data products to operational and research user communities, in support of marine meteorology and sea state forecasting; operational oceanography; seasonal forecasting; climate monitoring; ocean, earth system and climate research.

With a combined weight of 700 kilograms, the other six satellites are intended for telecommunications, ground measurements, detection and tracking of asteroids and tracking of resident object in space, including the so-called space junk, at a height of 6, 040 kilometers above Earth.

The PSLV-C20 was launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre located at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh at 5:56pm. This was 23rd journey of the PSLV. The 44 meter rocket will take less than half an hour to drop all the seven satellites in the orbit. So far, PSLV has a remarkable record of 21 consecutive successful flights.

PSLV is also slated to ferry India's maiden mission Mangalyaan later in October 2013 to Mars. Mangalyaan will make India the sixth country to undertake an effort of this kind after the United States, Russia, Europe, Japan and China.

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