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New Delhi Correspondent
India on Thursday successfully launched its latest earth observation satellite, data from which can be used in wide-ranging areas including monitoring industrial pollution, and 30 other micro and nano-satellites of eight countries into their designated orbits.
The Indian Space Research Organization’s trusted workhorse rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)-C43 carrying the total of 31 satellites blasted off into a cloudy sky in a burst of orange flames from a launch pad at this spaceport at Sriharikota in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh culminating a 28-hour countdown.
India’s Hyper Spectral Imaging Satellite (HysIS), fitted with the sharpest camera developed by ISRO, was placed in its orbit 636km above the earth 17 minutes and 27 seconds after lift-off while the 30 co-passenger satellites were put into the designated orbit one by one after an hour.
The data from the HysIS, the latest earth observation satellite developed by ISRO, has uses across a range of areas including agriculture, forestry, soil survey, geology, coastal zone studies, inland water studies, environmental monitoring and pollution detection from industries.
Thursday’s launch is significant as scientists restarted the fourth stage engine twice to place the 30 co-passenger satellites into their orbit. These satellites are one micro and 29 nano satellites from eight countries–23 from the United States of America and one each from Australia, Canada, Colombia, Finland, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Spain.
After the Indian earth observation satellite, which has a mission life of five years, was placed in its orbit, the ISRO scientists undertook an operation to restart the fourth stage engine twice. They reduced the altitude from 636 kilometers to around 504 kilometres to place the 30 satellites in the sun-synchronous polar orbit one by one in one of the longest space missions for ISRO.
“Today our PSLV has injected hyperspectral imaging satellite and subsequently after two manoeuvres, once again PSLV has injected 30 customer satellites into their designated home,” he said.
Speaking about the high-tech hyperspectral satellite, Sivan said it came with state-of-the-art technology. “The heart of the system required for the HysIS satellite is basically an optical imaging detector chip,” he said.
After today’s launch, ISRO will turn its focus on its GSAT11, which is India’s heaviest satellite set to be launched from French Guyana on December 5
Sivan said several missions, including the unmanned mission to the moon, are lined up for next year.