The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) wrote down its history on Wednesday by effectively ISRO launch of the RISAT2B Earth Observation satellite to improve the surveillance capacities of the country among others.
As the 25-hour countdown that began on Tuesday concluded, the trusted workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C46) from the Satish Dhawan Space Center’s first launch pad in Andhra Pradesh’s ISRO Sriharikota on its 48th mission, carrying the 615 kg satellite, blasted off at 5.30 am.
The satellite would also be used for military surveillance with a mission life of five years. India has actively used the RISAT-2 to monitor activities in border-crossing camps in Pakistan to thwart terrorist bids for infiltration.
The PSLV-C46 was the PSLV’s 14th flight without the use of solid strap-on motors in its core-alone configuration. It was ISRO Sriharikota‘s 72nd launch vehicle mission and marked the 36th ISRO launch from the first launch pad as well.
Indian space agency ISRO, which lost touch with Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram lander early Saturday evening, postponed the launch of the lunar mission last year after a failure in communications with the GSAT 6A military satellite. GSAT 6A was introduced in March last year to help military communications in hostile areas using convenient ground terminals.
However, days later the ISRO said it had lost contact with GSAT 6A. After the second firing of the on-board engine, communication from the satellite was lost and “efforts are underway to establish the connection with the satellite,” it said. Last year’s Chandrayaan-2 launch was scheduled for October.
Officials then said they wouldn’t take any risks and make sure the Chandrayaan multi-million dollar project is full proof. The GSAT 6A setback led ISRO to recall for further technical controls the launch of GSAT-11 from Kourou in French Guyana.
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One of the factors behind the space agency deferred Chandrayaan’s launch to early this year, which was pushed back to July, was the setback experienced by ISRO. The ISRO had created a group of specialists to guarantee that Chandrayaan-2 faces no glitch.
The PSLV-C39 task, carrying the navigation satellite IRNSS-1H, failed in August 2017 after the satellite was not opened and released by the heat shield.