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ISRO launches rocket with students' payload

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The rocket being launched from the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station. An ISRO photo

THUMBA, INDIA (BNS): Achieving a major milestone, Indian space agency ISRO has successfully launched the technology demonstrator flight of the advanced sounding rocket RH 200.

The launch was carried out from the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) near Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala at 1550 hours on Wednesday, ISRO said. The rocket achieved its intended altitude of 60 kilometers two minutes after launch.

The significance of the latest test was that part of the rocket's payload was built by students of Vellore Institute of Technology University (VITU) who were guided by Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre.

The studentsí payload comprised of tri-axial accelerometers, power switching module and safe arm relay unit matching the requirements of RH 200 rocket. The tri-axial accelerometer can monitor accelerations in all three directions. The power-switching module is for the power control of the payload, the space agency said.

The latest launch was the 395th flight of RH 200 rocket. So far, TERLS has recorded 2291 flights of sounding rockets.

In January, 2010, the RH 200 along with RH 300 MkII and RH 560 MkII rockets made a history with first ever sounding rocket launch campaign with six flights in a day and five flights within a span of 3 hrs 40 minutes from TERLS and within a minimum two minutes between flights and tracking two rockets one after the other using the same radar in two minutes time gap. These deployments were for studying solar eclipse effects on atmospheric regions, ISRO said.

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