Nellore: India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C48), on its golden jubilee milestone, successfully launched 626-kg RISAT-2BR1 apart from nine foreign customer satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, in Sriharikota on Wednesday.
With the vicious orange flames at its tail brightening up the skies, the rocket lifted off as per schedule at 3.25 pm and slowly gathered velocity to penetrate into the skies enthralling the people at the Spaceport, while the engine’s thunder-like noise adding to the spectacle.
Isro officials said that the First Launch Pad was modified on a war-footing. After 16 minutes and 27 seconds flight into the space, RISAT-2BR1 was successfully injected into an orbit of 576 kms. A minute later, nine commercial satellites were injected into their intended orbits.
After separation, solar arrays of RISAT-2BR1 were deployed automatically and the Isro Telemetry Tracking and Command Network at Bengaluru assumed control of the satellite. In the coming days, it will be brought to its final operational configuration.
“Today we achieved an important milestone in the history of PSLV by successfully launching its 50th mission” Chairman, ISRO, Dr. K. Sivan declared.
He added that the versatile launcher has lifted off 52.7 tonne into space so far, of which 17% belongs to customer satellites. He said in the last 26 years, PSLV rocket teams were spearheaded by extraordinary achievers like Srinivasan, Madhavan Nair, R.V.Perumal, and Ramakrishnan, among others.
To commemorate the historic occasion, a book titled ‘PSLV@ 50’ that retraces each of the earlier missions and satellites they carried, was released by Dr Sivan.
Meanwhile RISAT-2BR1 is a radar-imaging earth observation satellite weighing about 628 kg. It’s applications will be relevant to fields like agriculture, forestry and disaster management, apart from armed forces. The mission life of RISAT-2BR1 is five years.
The RISAT-2BR1 has an X-band SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) with radial rib reflector 3.6 metre mesh antenna. Covering a swath of 5-10 kms, it has a powerful 0.35m resolution, which means that two objects separated by 0.35m distance can be distinctly identified.
Similar to other RISAT-2B satellite launched in May, the latest is functional during nights and is capable of round-the-clock border surveillance besides checking infiltration.
Sources in Isro said they have plans to launch a series of RISAT satellites for the benefit of security forces, who can keep a tab on activities in any area of their choice.
With regard to the customer satellites, while Israel, Italy and Japan have one each, there are six from the United States.
The launch of the foreign satellites comes under a commercial arrangement with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL).
The one from Japan named as QPS-SAR is a Radar Imaging Earth Observation Satellite while Italy’s Tyvak-0092 is meant for search and rescue operations and Israel’s Duchifat-3 is for remote sensing purposes.
Four of the American satellites, named ‘Lemur” are multi-mission remote sensing platforms. The fifth, HOPSAT is for earth imaging while the sixth one, Tyvak-0129, is for technology demonstration.
Historic launch, a day of milestones
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) workforce, especially those associated with Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Shar, Sriharikota is in an upbeat mood following Wednesday's PSLV-C48/RISAT-2BR mission, which is also the 75th launch vehicle mission from India's Spaceport.
Isro Chairman Dr Sivan reflected the mood of the employees by stating that it is a historic launch. Another milestone is that the Mission is the 50th launch for India's workhorse launch vehicle- Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle.
In addition to this the mission is 37th from first launch pad, the sixth in 2019 and second flight of PSLV with 'QL' configuration.
“PSLV has got five variants and it has flown to all places in space, including Mars and Moon. Sun is in the offing,” Dr Sivan said. He said it has a lot more work to do and several missions are on the cards using PSLV next year.
Stressing that RISAT-2BR1 is a very complex satellite, he complemented the satellite team for realising it within six months after coming out with RISAT-2B....