In a pre-dawn launch, Indian space agency ISRO scripted history by successfully launching earth observation satellite RISAT-2B that would enhance the country’s surveillance capabilities among others.
As the 25-hour countdown which began has concluded, the agency’s trusted workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C46) blasted off from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre here on its 48th mission, carrying the 615 kg satellite.
The RISAT-2B (Radar Imaging Satellite-2B), meant for application in fields such as surveillance, agriculture, forestry and disaster management support, was released into the orbit around 15 minutes after the lift-off.
It would replace the RISAT-2, which was successfully launched in 2009.The RISAT-2B is equipped with a synthetic aperture radar that can take pictures of the earth during day and night, and also under cloudy conditions.
With a mission life of five years, the satellite would also be used for military surveillance. The RISAT-2 has been actively used by India to monitor activities in camps across the border in Pakistan to thwart infiltration bids by terrorists.
The PSLV-C46 was the 14th flight of the PSLV in its core-alone configuration sans the use of the solid strap-on motors.
It was the 72nd launch vehicle mission from Sriharikota and also marked the 36th launch from the first launch pad.
The other two were the PSLV-C45/EMISAT mission, which successfully injected the EMISAT and 29 international customer satellites into their orbits on April 1, and the PSLV-C44, which successfully placed the Microsat-R and the Kalamsat-V2 satellites in designated orbits on January 24. ISRO had launched RISAT-1, a microwave remote sensing satellite, on April 26, 2012 from Sriharikota.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launches PSLVC46 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. PSLVC46 will launch the RISAT-2B radar earth observation satellite into a 555 km-altitude orbit. pic.twitter.com/iY2paDVjls— ANI (@ANI) May 22, 2019