PSLV-C42 or Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C42 of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched two satellites of the United Kingdom from Sriharikota on Sunday. The mission entailed launching satellites — NovaSAR and S1-4 — into ‘Sun Synchronous Orbit’. The satellites launched into this orbit are usually used for imaging, reconnaissance and weather forecasts.
The PSLV-C42 is the lightest version of the PSLV and flew in its core-alone version without the six strap-on motors.
ISRO mentioned that NovaSAR is intended for forest mapping, land use, and ice cover monitoring as well as flood and disaster monitoring while S1-4 is a high-resolution satellite that will be used for surveying resources, environment monitoring, urban management, and disaster monitoring.
The PSLV-C42 rose into the skies at 10.08 p.m and injected the satellites into orbit 17 minutes and 45 seconds after lift-off, placing them in the sun-synchronous orbit 583 km from the earth’s surface.
ISRO chairman K Sivan was quoted as saying by PTI that the mission was a success and congratulated the scientists involved in the mission. “Today I am extremely happy to announce that PSLV-C42 carrying two customer satellites NovaSAR and S1-4 placed them precisely in orbit. Within the next six months, 10 satellite missions and eight launch vehicle missions would be launched – one every two weeks,” he was quoted as saying.
The launch of the two British satellites comes almost six months after ISRO successfully placed the INRSS-1I navigation satellite in the orbit on April 12.
The commercial arm of ISRO, Antrix Corporation earned more than ₹220 crore on the launch of the two satellites owned by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL).
ISRO has a large number of foreign and domestic clients that avail its services for sending satellites into the outer space. A lot of academic centres and universities have also approached ISRO for launching their satellites.