India's latest satellite to beam pictures from Thursday

India's latest satellite to beam pictures from Thursday

A statement issued by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Monday said the three cameras of Resourcesat-2 have been oriented towards Earth and all checks prior to their switching on have been completed.

ISRO said the first imaging is expected to cover about 3,000 km stretch of Indian landmass from Joshimath in Uttarakhand to Kannur in Kerala. On April 20, an Indian rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C16) launched three satellites -- the 1,206 kg Resourcesat-2, the 92 kg Youthsat for stellar and atmospheric studies, and a 106 kg mini satellite X-SAT for imaging applications -- from the Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh.

Remote sensing satellites send back pictures and other data for use. India has the largest constellation of remote sensing satellites in the world, providing imagery in a variety of spatial resolutions, from more than a metre ranging up to 500 metres, and is a major player in vending such data in the global market.

The data is used for several applications covering agriculture, water resources, urban development, mineral prospecting, environment, forestry, drought and flood forecasting, ocean resources and disaster management.

According to ISRO, the precise launch of Resourcesat-2 has saved around 20 kg of onboard fuel, enhancing its life span. At the time of the launch, the satellite was said to have a life span of five years.

ISRO said the two smaller satellites -- Youthsat (an Indo-Russian venture) and X-SAT of Singapore's Nanyang Technical University -- are also in good health in their intended orbit.

The two Indian payloads in the Youthsat are performing satisfactorily while the Russian payload - Solar radiation Experiment - will be switched on Friday.