Sriharikota (AP): India on Wednesday successfully put into orbit an earth observation satellite that can see through thick clouds and enhance the country’s surveillance capabilities in military and civilian sectors to keep an eye also on terror camps across the border in Pakistan.
Dubbed as a ‘spy’ satellite, RISAT-2B (Radar Imaging Satellite-2B) will replace its predecessor RISAT-2 which has been actively used by India to monitor activities in terror camps across the border in Pakistan to thwart infiltration bids by terrorists. RISAT was successfully launched in 2009.
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, said an official of the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro).
With a mission life of five years, the satellite will also be used for military surveillance, the official said.
As the 25-hour countdown which began Tuesday concluded, Isro’s trusted workhorse, the 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 satellite, which is meant for application in fields such as surveillance, agriculture, forestry and disaster management support, was successfully released into its orbit at about 15 minutes and 30 seconds after the lift-off.
Commenting on the launch from the Mission Control Centre, Isro chairman K. Sivan said the PSLV-C46 successfully injected RISAT-2B precisely in the designated orbit of 555 km, with an inclination of 37 degrees.
“This particular mission for PSLV is a very, very important mission. With this launch, PSLV lofts 50 tonnes to space by launching 354 satellites, including national, student and foreign satellites,” Sivan said.
The Isro chairman said the PSLV-C46 carried two important piggyback payloads, an indigenously developed processor and a low cost Inertial Navigation System.