Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains III – Space
- India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its 50th flight (PSLV-C48), successfully launched RISAT-2BR1, an earth observation satellite, along with nine commercial satellites of Israel, Italy, Japan and USA from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota.
- These satellites were launched under commercial arrangement with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
- It 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 5 years.
- It is believed that RISAT-2BR1 along with Cartosat-3, a remote sensing satellite which was launched on November 27, 2019, will also be used for military reconnaissance.
- Before the launch of RISAT (Remote Imaging Satellite), India relied on images provided by Canadian satellites as the current domestic remote sensing spacecraft are not equipped to capture images of the earth during cloud cover.
- Initially, the PSLV had a carrying capacity of 850 kg, and over the years it has been enhanced to 1.9 tonnes.
- The PSLV is very versatile, having various mission options.The PSLV had helped take payloads into almost all the orbits in space, including the the Geo-Stationary Transfer Orbit (GTO), the moon and mars, and would soon be launching a mission to the Sun
- The PSLV has failed only twice — the maiden flight of the PSLV D1 in September 1993 and the PSLV C-39 in August 2017.
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