The golden jubilee flight of India’s most trusted workhorse, Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), on Wednesday will launch spy satellite RISAT-2BR1 along with nine foreign satellites from the Sriharikota spaceport, as the 24-hour countdown commenced at 4.40 pm on Tuesday.
The radar imaging earth observation satellite, RISAT-2BR1, weighing around 628 kg, will be placed into an orbit of 576 km at an inclination of 37 degrees to the equator. The RISAT-2BR1, with a mission life of five years, is aimed at military purposes and to beef up the country’s border security through more “eyes from the sky”. Though ISRO did not reveal much on its “spy activities”, the RISAT-2BR1 will reportedly monitor the areas sharing border with other countries.
The satellite is also capable of taking sharp images from outer space even in overcast weather conditions. Apart from enhancing ISRO’s capability for disaster management applications, RISAT-2BR1 will also provide support in the field of agriculture and forestry.
The 44.4 m tall PSLV-C48 will also carry piggyback nine foreign satellites, that included six from the United States and one each from Israel, Italy and Japan. These international customer satellites are being launched under a commercial arrangement with New Space India Limited (NSIL).
ISRO had earlier launched surveillance satellite Risat-2B on May 22 and EMISAT (Electronic Intelligence Satellite) on April 1 using PSLV to help DRDO keep an eye on the enemy radars.
Both Risat-2BR1 and Risat-2BR2 would increase military’s surveillance capability as they have the capability to see through clouds and take images at night, besides monitor infiltration on the borders and terror activities.
A fourth RISAT-2B type satellite will be launched later to complete a quartet of spy satellites with advanced earth imaging abilities.
Till now, ISRO has successfully placed more than 300 foreign satellites into the required orbit and the success launch of PSLV-C48 will take the tally to 319.
ISRO chief at Tirumala temple
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman Dr K Sivan offered prayers at the famous Venkateswara Swamy temple here on Tuesday morning ahead of the launch of the golden jubilee flight of PSLV.
The countdown for the launch of ‘sharp eyed’ radar imaging earth observation satellite RISAT-2BR1 weighing 628 kg, and nine commercial satellites, by PSLV-C48 began at 16.40 hours from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), SHAR, Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday.
Speaking to media after darshan , Sivan said that PSLV C48 is a historic achievement by ISRO as this is the 50th launch for PSLV and the 75th launch from Sriharikota.
ISRO is gearing up for the launch of RISAT-2BR1 through PSLV C48, which will launch it from SDSC at 15.25 hours on Wednesday.
Earlier, the ISRO chief was offered Vedasirvachanam by the temple priests at Ranganayakula Mandapam and Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) officials offered thirtha prasadams to the dignitary.