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RISAT1 satellite launch a grand success

The PSLV-C19, the newest in the series of polar satellite launch vehicles of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), burst off the launch-pads of Sriharikota in the wee hours of Thursday on its space mission of placing indigenously developed Radar Imaging Satellite the RISAT-1 in a polar circular orbit.
ISRO's Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, at precisely 5.47 a.m., the launch vehicle’s core stage igniters and set of six strap-on motors ignited within seconds of each to signal the successful lift-off of the PSLV-C19 with the RISAT -1 firmly docked inside its metal frames.

The RISAT-1 with a payload of 1858 kg, the heaviest satellite being launched yet by the PSLV, is a state-of-the-art Active Microwave Remote Sensing Satellite carrying a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) payload that will operate in the C-band. In simpler terms, the RISAT-1 can beam back imaging of the earth surface features during day and night and under all imagined weather conditions. The SAR which gives the RISAT-1 its magic lens also makes it superior to the generation of optical remote sensing satellites in terms of clearer imaging at all times and under any condition. Once the PSLV-C19 successfully completed each of the four stages of its flight in a span of 18 minutes and reported normal parameters, congratulatory scenes broke out at the Mission Directorate at Sriharikota. Addressing the team of scientists and engineers, ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan said he was happy to announce that the PSLV-C19 was a “grand success” and had injected into polar orbit India's first Radar Imaging Satellite. Prof. Radhakrishnan also laid out the roadmap of PSLV launches during the year ahead and the stated that the ground tests of the GSLV driven by indigenous cryogenic technology had been promising and was scheduled completion in September-October this year.

According to ISRO scientists, once the satellite onboard propulsion system will raise the orbital altitude to 536 km with orbital inclination of approximately 97 degrees to place the RISAT-1 into a polar sun-synchronous orbit, the satellite will begin its daily routine of 14 orbits with a of 25 days. During its mission life of five years, RISAT-1 will use its active microwave remote sensing capability for cloud penetration and day-night imaging of the earth surface and provide critical data inputs for a range of applications. The satellite’s applications will range across agriculture — paddy monitoring in the kharif season — and management of natural disasters like flood and cyclone and could greatly assist food security planning in India. The PSLV C-19 is the 21st flight in the PSLV series of satellite launches and the third to involve the high-end version (PSLV-XL) equipped with six extended strap-on motors, each carrying 12 tonnes of solid propellant. The two earlier flights of PSLV-XL were used to launch Chandrayaan-1 and GSAT-12 communication satellite. The RISAT-1 is expected to unfold its sensors and send back active imaging in five days.