In­dia launches 31 satel­lites into space

In­dia put into or­bit its own earth ob­ser­va­tion satel­lite with a sharp eye and 30 other for­eign satel­lites in text-book style

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In­dia fired a rocket car­ry­ing 31 satel­lites into space on Thurs­day, in­clud­ing its own ad­vanced earth ob­ser­va­tion satel­lite among the other smaller ones launched for eight coun­tries.

The rocket launched from the south­ern state of Andhra Pradesh car­ried the Hy­per-spec­tral Imag­ing Satel­lite (HYSIS) with high res­o­lu­tion, dig­i­tal-imag­ing equip­ment to map the earth, the In­dian Space Re­search Or­gan­i­sa­tion (ISRO) said.

Satel­lites from Aus­tralia, Colom­bia, Malaysia and Spain were also car­ried for the first time by an In­dian rocket, the state-run ISRO said on its web­site.

This lat­est launch is part of Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi’s am­bi­tion to project In­dia as a global low-cost provider of ser­vices in space. It comes nearly two weeks af­ter GSAT-29, In­dia’s heav­i­est satel­lite, was sent into space.

Just over three-quar­ters of the satel­lites launched on Thurs­day were US con­tracts agreed with An­trix Cor­po­ra­tion Ltd, the com­mer­cial arm of ISRO.

“The high­light of this launch, #HYSIS, will be In­dia’s first hy­per­spec­tral imag­ing satel­lite! A big vic­tory for In­dian sci­ence and tech,” In­dia’s in­for­ma­tion and broad­cast­ing min­is­ter Ra­jyavard­han Rathore said on Twit­ter. Im­ages sent by HYSIS, which has a mis­sion life of five years, will be used in the agri­cul­ture and forestry sec­tors, and help de­tect in­dus­trial pol­lu­tion.

Af­ter the suc­cess­ful launch, In­dian Space Re­search Or­gan­i­sa­tion (ISRO) Chair­man K. Si­van said: “Once again In­dian space sci­en­tists showed their ex­cel­lence...”

In­dia on Thurs­day put into or­bit its own earth ob­ser­va­tion satel­lite with a sharp eye, the Hy­per Spec­tral Imag­ing Satel­lite (HYSIS), and 30 other for­eign satel­lites in text­book style.

In the process, In­dia has crossed the mile­stone of lift­ing and putting into or­bit over 250 for­eign satel­lites. In­dia has till date­hasputin­toor­bit269­for­eign­satel­lites.

The notable as­pect of the rocket mis­sion is the plac­ing of the satel­lites in two dif­fer­ent or­bits − one at a higher alti­tude and the oth­ers in a lower one.

Afterthe­suc­cess­ful­launch,in­di­anspace Re­search Or­gan­i­sa­tion (ISRO) Chair­man K. Si­van said: “Once again In­dian space sci­en­tists showed their ex­cel­lence. The PSLV in­jected the HYSIS irst and later the 30 for­eign cus­tomers satel­lites.

The HYSIS is a state-of-the-art satel­lite. The heart of the satel­lite, a crit­i­cal chip called the op­ti­cal imag­ing de­tec­tor ar­ray chip was de­signed by ISRO’S Satel­lite Applications Cen­tre (SAC) and fab­ri­cated by Semi-con­duc­tor Lab­o­ra­tory of ISRO. It can read upto 1000 x 66 pix­els.

Queried about the HYSIS’ ap­pli­ca­tion for strate­gic/de­fence pur­poses Si­van said: “Our duty is to build the satel­lite to iden­tify the ob­ject clearly. The ac­tual use of the data is left for the users.”

The pri­mary goal of HYSIS is to study the earth’s sur­face in vis­i­ble, near in­frared and short­wave in­frared re­gions of the elec­tro­mag­netic spec­trum, he said.

Hy­per­spec­tral imag­ing is an imag­ing spec­troscopy which com­bines the power of dig­i­tal imag­ing and spec­troscopy.

This imag­ing tech­nol­ogy en­ables to dis­tin­guish ob­jects on the earth by read­ing the spec­trum for each pixel of an item seen from the space.

On the manned space mis­sion planned by ISRO, Si­van said the irst un­manned mis­sion − a pre­lude to the manned one − will hap­pen in De­cem­ber 2020.

There will be another mis­sion later again ahead of the hu­man space mis­sion by 2022.

When asked about the train­ing to be pro­vided to the In­dian astro­nauts Si­van said the plan is to de­velop most of the fa­cil­i­ties within the coun­try and for some train­ing they may go over­seas.

Si­van also said that the next launch will be of com­mu­ni­ca­tion satel­lite GSAT11 from French Guiana on Dec.5, which will fol­lowed by GSAT-7A by the In­dian rocket Geosyn­chronous Satel­lite Launch Ve­hi­cle (GSLV) from here.

Ac­cord­ing to him, in 2019 ISRO will be launch­ing a mi­cro-satel­lite, Chan­drayaan-2 (moon mis­sion), RISAT and Car­tosat satel­lites.

Mean­while, on Thurs­day at about 9.58 a.m., the four staged/en­gine PSLVCA rocket, stand­ing 44.4 me­tres tall and weigh­ing about 230 tonne, blasted off from the irst launch pad.

With the ierce or­ange lame at its tail, the rocket slowly gained speed and went up en­thralling the peo­ple at the rocket port while the en­gine roared like a rolling thun­der adding to the thrill.

More thrilling as­pect came in when rocket’s fourth stage/en­gine was cut/ switched off in just over 16 min­utes af­ter the lift off.

A minute later, the In­dian satel­lite HYSIS with a mis­sion life of ive years was placed in 636 km po­lar sun syn­chro­nous or­bit.

Fol­low­ing that the rocket was brought to a lower alti­tude of 503 km. Post HYSIS ejec­tion, the rocket’s fourth stage was restarted at 59.65 min­utes af­ter the lift off.

The co-pas­sen­gers of HYSIS in­clude one mi­cro and 29 nano satel­lites from eight dif­fer­ent coun­tries.

Later, the rocket was switched off and on, twice be­fore the inal for­eign pas­sen­ger was put into or­bit about 112.79 min­utes af­ter the rocket’s lift off.

All the for­eign satel­lites were placed in a 504 km or­bit, just as the over­seas cus­tomers wanted their satel­lites to be placed, Si­van said.

Agence France-presse

ISRO’S earth ob­ser­va­tion satel­lite HYSIS is launched on board the Po­lar Satel­lite Launch Ve­hi­cle in Sri­harikota on Thurs­day. SRI­HARIKOTA:

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