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India’s ISRO Successfully Launches RISAT And Nine Rideshare Payloads

ISRO’s PSLV-C48 mission, carrying the RISAT SAR Earth observation satellite and nine rideshare payloads, lifts off from its launch pad. Photograph courtesy of ISRO.

An Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), in its fiftieth flight (PSLV-C48), successfully launched RISAT-2BR1 along with nine commercial satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota, on 11 December 2019.

PSLV-C48 lifted-off at 1525 Hrs (IST) from the First Launch Pad. After 16 minutes and 27 seconds, RISAT-2BR1 was successfully injected into an orbit of 576 km. Subsequently, nine commercial satellites were injected into their intended orbits. After separation, solar arrays of RISAT-2BR1 were deployed automatically and the ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network at Bengaluru assumed control of the satellite. In the coming days, the satellite will be brought to its final operational configuration.

“Today we achieved an important milestone in the history of PSLV by successfully launching its 50th mission,” the Chairman of ISRO, Dr. K. Sivan, declared. A book titled PSLV@ 50 was released by Dr. Sivan on this occasion. He further added that this versatile launcher has lifted off 52.7 tonnes into space, of which 17% belongs to customer satellites.

RISAT-2BR1 is a radar imaging Earth observation satellite weighing about 628 kg. The satellite will provide services in the field of agriculture, forestry and disaster management. The mission life of RISAT-2BR1 is five years.

Dr. Sivan appreciated the efforts of the launch vehicle and satellite teams for realizing this mission in a short span of time.

The nine customer satellites of Israel, Italy, Japan, and the United States were precisely injected into their designated orbits. These satellites were launched under a commercial arrangement with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL).

PSLV-C48 is the second flight of the PSLV in QL configuration (with four solid strap-on motors). Besides being the 50th launch of PSLV, the 11 December 2019 launch was also the 75th launch vehicle mission from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota.

About 5000 visitors witnessed the launch live from the Viewer’s Gallery in Sriharikota.

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