CoEP’s satellite launch postponed to March

The launch of Pico satellite, which is being designed and developed by a student team of College of Engineering Pune (CoEP) under the supervision of faculties, has been postponed till March following instructions from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Named Swayam, the Pico satellite was earlier scheduled to be launched by the end of last December.

Manisha Khalatkar, associate professor with the Applied Science department of CoEP, said the change in the schedule of the recently launched Mars mission by the ISRO has delayed the launch of Swayam. "We are done with our preparations as the scheduled launch was by the end of December. Now, with three more months in our hands, we will ensure more fine tuning of project-related activities," she said.

If all goes as per plans, CoEP will have a rare distinction to its credit in the form of launching the Pico satellite. Only three educational institutions in the country, including IIT Kanpur, are believed to have achieved this feat successfully so far.

While the project preparations at CoEP have been underway for the past four years, Swayam was inspected by an ISRO team last August for giving final clearance for the launch. After being in the pipeline for several months, ISRO and CoEP had signed an MoU for the launch of the satellite

To be launched as a piggyback satellite, Swayam is considered a technology demonstration project under the guidance and support of ISRO. As per the MoU, Swayam will have a maximum dimension of 10 cm X 10 cm X 11.35 cm with a total weight of around one kg. The satellite, which will be deployed in low earth orbit with an altitude within 800-1,000 km, is scheduled to have a mission life of at least six months after the launch.

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