Sriharikota: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Sunday launched a PSLV (polar satellite launch vehicle) carrying two satellites to the space.
The space vehicle, PSLV-C42, was launched from the First Launch Pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. However, there were no Indian satellite in the spacecraft, rather two UK satellites, NovaSAR and S1-4, were launched in the project.
This was the first fully commercial trip of ISRO after a break of 5 months.
The satellites, NovaSAR and S1-4, are high-resolution Optical Earth Observation Satellites. NovaSAR, which is an S-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar satellite is designed to map the forest and monitor land usage. It also monitors ice cover and disasters like flooding.
The S1-4, which is also an earth observatory satellite will be used for surveying resources. It is capable of monitoring the environment and contributes to urban management. However, it can also serve as a disasters monitor. The satellites together weigh around 889 kg which is the optimum payload that a core-alone PSLV can launch.
The satellites are owned by M/s Surrey Satellite Technologies Limited (SSTL), in the United Kingdom under a commercial arrangement with Antrix Corporation Limited, Department of Space.
Both the satellites are to be launched in a Sun Synchronous Orbit which means that it will record a pole to pole movement. It will cover a distance of 583 km as they revolve around the Earth. The entire flight up to the release of the satellites is designed to happen within 17.5 minutes.
The ISRO had not taken up any launch project since April 12 following the replacement of navigation satellite IRNSS-1I that was put in space on PSLV-C41. Later, ISRO recalled its GSAT-11 from the South American launch port of Kourou, weeks before it was scheduled to launch.
According to reports, this will be ISRO’s 44th PSLV and will mark the 12th core-alone flight.