Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 21 September 2019 10.39 PM IST

25-hour countdown starts for launch of India's PSLV RISAT-2B satellite today


CHENNAI: A 25-hour countdown began Tuesday for the launch of India's all weather radar imaging earth observation satellite RISAT-2B on-board Polar rocket from the spaceport of Sriharihota, the ISRO said.

The workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, on its 48th mission, PSLV-C46, is scheduled for lift-off from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, over 130 km from here, at 5.30 am Wednesday, the Indian Space Research Organisation said.

The 615 kg satellite, meant for applications in fields such as surveillance, agriculture, forestry and disaster management support, will be released into orbit about 15 minutes after lift-off.

ISRO Chairman K Sivan described the mission as "very very important" but did not elaborate.

"Tomorrow morning at 5.30 am, we are going to have the PSLV-C46 mission which is going to launch satellite RISAT 2B and this is very very important mission for India...It is an excellent satellite with hi-fi earth observation (capabilities)", he said.

Speaking to reporters after offering prayers at the famous Lord Venkateshwara temple in Tirupati ahead of the launch, Sivan said that after RISAT-2B, ISRO would turn to Chandrayaan-2 which is scheduled for launch between July 9 and 16.

"Everybody is looking very eagerly for that mission and ISRO would look at landing the rover of Chandrayaan-2 (on Lunar surface) by September 6", he said.

ISRO said the countdown for RISAT-2B began at 4.30 AM Tuesday and was progressing smoothly.

RISAT-2B, which would replace RISAT-2 launched in 2009, is equipped with synthetic aperture radar that can take pictures of earth day and night and also under cloudy conditions.

With a mission of life of five years, it would also be used for military surveillance, ISRO sources told PTI. RISAT-2 has been actively used by India to monitor activities in camps across the border in Pakistan to thwart infiltration bids by terrorists.

PSLV-C46 is the 14th flight of the PSLV in its core-alone configuration sans the use of the solid strap-on motors. It would be the 72nd launch vehicle mission from Sriharikota and also marks the 36th launch from the first launch pad at the spaceport.

Tomorrow's launch of PSLV also marks the third launch in 2019.

Previous launches by ISRO in 2019 include the PSLV-C45/EMISAT Mission which successfully injected EMISAT and 29 international customer satellites on April 1. Besides PSLV-C45, ISRO had successfully launched PSLV-C44 which successfully placed Microsat-R and Kalamsat-V2 satellites in the designated orbits on January 24, 2019. ISRO had launched RISAT-1 (Radar Satellite-1), a microwave remote sensing satellite on April 26, 2012 from Sriharikota.

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