Home Business ISRO successfully launches its 42nd PSLV to place 31 satellites in orbit

ISRO successfully launches its 42nd PSLV to place 31 satellites in orbit


(G.N.S) Dt. 12
The 42nd Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) was on Friday launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) from the First Launch Pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota. The PSLV will place 31 satellites across two orbits.
The PSLV, launched at 9.29 a.m., had as its primary payload the country’s fourth satellite in the remote sensing Cartosat-2 series, weighing 710 kg. The 30 other co-passenger smaller satellites, together weigh 613 kg. Of them. Of them, 28 are from other countries
The Cartosat-2, whose imagery will be used to develop various land and geographical information system applications, was to be placed in a circular polar sun synchronous orbit 505 km from the Earth. The satellite’s design life is five years.
It is the two other Indian satellites in the payload that have generated more excitement. Both were called technology demonstrators, indicating significant strides towards miniaturisation.
The microsatellite is of the 100 kg class. “This is a technology demonstrator and the forerunner for future satellites of this series,” the ISRO said.
The nanosatellite, named Indian Nano Satellite (INS) – 1C, is the third in its series; its predecessors were part of the PSLV-C37 launch of February 2017. The INS-1C, whose mission life is six months, carries the Miniature Multispectral Technology Demonstration payload from the Space Applications Centre. “With a capability to carry up to 3 kg of payload and a total satellite mass of 11 kg, it offers immense opportunities for future use,” the ISRO said.
Of the 28 foreign satellites, launched as part of deals made by ISRO’s commercial arm Antrix Corporation Limited, three were microsatellites and 25 nanosatellites. There were 19 satellites from the United States and five from South Korea. The United Kingdom, France, Canada and Finland had a satellite each.
The CMD of Antrix had told The Hindu that the PSLV carried three important proof-of-concept microsats.
The ISRO had seen its launch of August 31, 2017 being recorded as a failure. The heat shield of PSLV-C39 did not separate, resulting in satellite separation occurring within the shield. It was only the second total failure of the PSLV in nearly 24 years: the PSLV-D1, in its maiden flight, failed on September 20, 1993.
Pakistan worried that India is taking rapid strides in space technology with robust investment
Once bitten twice shy. This is what led India to have an eye in the sky. The Kargil misadventure by Pakistan convinced India that Islamabad could no longer be left unwatched. And, now Pakistan complains that India is keeping an eye over it, this time from the heavens.
Pakistan media is worried that India is taking rapid strides in space technology with robust investment. Responding to a query about what Pakistani media described as India’s increasing space “surveillance capabilities”, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisa, in his weekly address yesterday said that “such pursuits” should not be “directed towards a buildup or destabilizing military capabilities.”
This can “negatively impact the regional strategic stability”, he said while acknowledging that “all space technologies, including earth observation satellites, are inherently dual use and can be employed for both civilian and military purposes.”
But, then, India is already keeping a watch on Pakistan for few years. This is believed to have prevented a recurrence of Kargil like situation along the borders.
Soon after partition, Pakistan Army mapped a plan to capture Kashmir. A war began and halted without pushing the Pakistan Army back to its territories. Another war happened in 1965 followed by one more six years later.
During the 1971 war, India came to know about the importance of space technology in devising military plans. The US had recalled its seventh naval fleet mid-way after realising that the USSR had sent its submarines in support of India. But Indian space programme was in nascent phase at that time.
Kargil incursion by Pakistan took India by agonizing surprise. India had no clue that Pakistani Army had come well inside its territories and stood there for months. This served as the final reminder and warning to India that Pakistan must be watched over.
In a few years’ time, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched a series of satellites with capabilities that could be of significant use to the armed forces. CARTOSAT and RISAT came up to give India the capability to keep an eye on Pakistan’s activities along the borders.
When India launched RISAT-1 in 2012, the American space technology experts said that this remote sensing satellite had radar reconnaissance imaging capability that was comparable to that of the most modern versions of the high-flying U-2 spy plane operated by the US Air Force.
With the launch of Cartosat 2E+ in June last year, India considerably enhanced its remote sensing capabilities in space. Cartosat 2E+ was dubbed by many as India’s “eye in the sky”.
The ISRO today launched its 100th satellite as the PSLV C40 placed 31 satellites from seven countries – including three Indian – across two orbits. The main payload of the PSLV C40 today was the fourth satellite of Cartosat 2 series.
With this the total number of ISRO satellites that can be used for military purposes has gone up to 14. These satellites have surveillance and mapping capabilities, and can be used to keep an eye on enemies along the land and sea borders. And, this is exactly why Pakistan feels uncomfortable with the ISRO’s latest stride in space.

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