Isro launches two foreign satellites

Isro launches two foreign satellites

ISRO's PSLV-C42 carrying two earth observing satellites, NovaSAR and S1-4 of Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL), UK, ready to be launched from Sathish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, on Saturday. PTI

In a full-fledged commercial launch, Isro's reliable workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PLSV) on Sunday successfully put into orbit two British earth observation satellites together weighing around 900 kg from its launchpad in Sriharikota near here.

The satellites, NovaSAR and S1-4, blasted off at 10.08 pm from the first launch pad of the Sathish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, 110 km from here. The launch is significant since it is the first full-fledged launch in five months and the Isro is expected to earn Rs 200 crore.

Scientists at the space centre, including Isro chief Dr K Sivan, erupted in joy as the satellites were put into the orbit at 10:26 pm, roughly 18 minutes after the launch, in the presence of the British firm representatives. The Isro is projecting itself as the low-cost provider of space services and has been launching commercial satellites of foreign countries for the past two decades.

"The night mission was mainly for ascending mode for day missions. The latest mission really proves the prowess of PSLV as a user-friendly vehicle in all aspects. The Isro's workload is very heavy and within the next six months, we will have 18 missions,10 satellite and 8 launch vehicles. Load on us is very huge and we have been meeting expectations of the nation," Sivan said after the success of the PSLV C42 mission. 

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PSLV C42, which is a fully commercial launch by the Isro where the whole rocket has been hired by an overseas company, is the 44th mission of the workhorse, whose light version was used for Sunday's launch that was contracted through the Isro's commercial arm, Antrix Corporation Limited. The Isro has the distinction of launching several commercial satellites of foreign countries from its launch pad in Sriharikota successfully and at a very low cost compared to the cost in other countries.

"This mission is designed to launch two earth observation satellites, NovaSAR and S1-4 (together weighing nearly 889 kg) of M/s Surrey Satellite Technologies Limited (SSTL), the United Kingdom under a commercial arrangement with Antrix Corporation Limited, Department of Space. Both satellites are planned to be launched into a 583 km Sun Synchronous Orbit," the Isro said.

NovaSAR is an S-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar satellite intended for forest mapping, land use & ice cover monitoring, flood & disaster monitoring, while S1-4 is a high-resolution Optical Earth Observation Satellite, used for surveying resources, environment monitoring, urban management and for the disaster monitoring. PSLV, known as Isro's workhorse, is one of the reliable launch vehicles of the space agency since its launch in the 1990s.

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