In a pre-dawn launch on Wednesday, Indian space agency Indian Space Research Organisation or ISRO scripted history by successfully launching earth observation satellite RISAT-2B that would enhance the country’s surveillance capabilities among others.
As the 25-hour countdown which began on Tuesday concluded, the agency’s trusted workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C46) blasted off at 5.30 am from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre here on its 48th mission, carrying the 615 kg satellite.
The RISAT-2B (Radar Imaging Satellite-2B), meant for application in fields such as surveillance, agriculture, forestry and disaster management support, was released into the orbit around 15 minutes after the lift-off.
It would replace the RISAT-2, which was successfully launched in 2009.
ISRO chairman K Sivan had earlier described the mission as a “very, very important” one for the country.
“This is a very, very important mission for India. It is an excellent satellite with hi-fi earth observation (capabilities),” he had said.
The RISAT-2B is equipped with a synthetic aperture radar that can take pictures of the earth during day and night, and also under cloudy conditions.
With a mission life of five years, the satellite would also be used for military surveillance, ISRO sources said.