44th PSLV launch puts 2 UK satellites into orbit
The Indian Space Research Organisation’s (Isro) workhorse, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) in its 44th flight put into orbit two UK earth observation satellites, NovaSAR and S1-4, in a textbook launch.
Both the satellites together weighed about 889 kg, and the commercial launch was carried out under an arrangement between Surrey Satellite Technologies Limited (SSTL) and Isro’s commercial arm Antrix Corporation Limited.
NovaSAR is an S-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite intended for forest mapping, land use and ice cover monitoring, flood and disaster monitoring. It’s SAR payload has a dedicated maritime mode designed with a very wide swath area (400-km) to enable the monitoring of the marine environment, and will provide direct radar ship detection information simultaneously with AIS ship tracking data to assist with the identification and tracking of sea-going vessels.
S1-4 is a high resolution Optical Earth Observation Satellite, used for surveying resources, environment monitoring, urban management and for the disaster monitoring.
The PSLV-C42, was only the third launch of PSLV after the failure it encountered in August last year after problems in the heat shield. It took off took off at 10.08pm, the first stage separated about two minutes after that, while the fourth state separated nearly 17 minutes after the take off. The satellites separated 17.44 minutes after the launch.