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PSLV launches RISAT-2 and ANUSAT satellites
New Delhi, Apr 20
India's defence surveillance capabilities were enhanced today with the launch of an all-weather Israeli-built spy satellite from the spaceport in Sriharikota.
The Indian Space Research Organisation's workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C12) took off in clear skies at 0645 hours and placed the Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT-2) as well as a micro-educaional satellite, ANUSAT, into orbit some 19 minutes later.
This was the 15th PSLV mission carried out from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota (SDSC-SHAR).
An ISRO press release said RISAT-2 is a Radar Imaging Satellite with capability to take images of the earth during day and night as well as cloudy conditions.
At the time of launch, RISAT-2 weighed about 300 kg and was realised by ISRO in association with Israel Aerospace Industries.
The satellite was placed in an orbit of 550 km height with an inclination of 41 degrees to the equator and an orbital period of about 90 minutes.
"This satellite will enhance ISRO’s capability for earth observation, especially during floods, cyclones, landslides and management of disasters in a more effective way," the statement said.
The 44 metre tall PSLV-C12 weighing 230 tonnes was launched from the Second Launch Pad (SLP) at SDSC SHAR in the Core Alone configuration without the use of six solid strap-ons.
In this mission, in addition to RISAT-2, PSLV also carried a 40 kg micro satellite named ANUSAT, built by Anna University, Chennai.
ANUSAT is the first experimental communication satellite built by an Indian University under the overall guidance of ISRO. ANUSAT will demonstrate the technologies related to message store and forward operations.
Integration of PSLV for the C12 flight commenced at the Second Launch Pad in SDSC SHAR on February 26, 2009. Following this, the first, second, third and fourth stages of the vehicle along with the satellites were fully integrated. After a 48 hour countdown, the vehicle and the satellites successfully underwent various levels of functional checks at the launch centre.
In this flight, PSLV carried the indigenously developed Advanced Mission Computers and Advanced Telemetry System, which guided the vehicle from lift-off till the injection of the two satellites in the desired orbit.
PSLV-C12 lifted off from the Second Launch Pad at 6:45 am IST today with the ignition of its first stage. The important flight events included the separation of the first stage, ignition of the second stage, separation of the payload fairing at about 115 km altitude after the vehicle had cleared the dense atmosphere, second stage separation, third stage ignition, third stage separation, fourth stage ignition and fourth stage cut-off.
The main payload, RISAT-2, was the first satellite to be separated in orbit at 1100 seconds after lift-off at an altitude of 550 km. About 60 seconds later, ANUSAT was separated.
According to the statement, with this successful launch, the versatility and the reliability of PSLV has been proved again underscoring its importance as the workhorse launch vehicle of India.
It said today’s launch was the fourteenth consecutive success for PSLV. In these launches, PSLV has placed a total of sixteen Indian satellites and sixteen foreign satellites into Polar, Geosynchronous Transfer and Low Earth Orbits.
It may be recalled that during its previous mission on October 22, 2008, PSLV had successfully launched Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, which is now exploring the moon from lunar orbit.
Photos Courtesy: ISRO