With the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) successfully launch of the powerful Radar Imaging Satellite RISAT-2BR1 today, 11 December, at 3:25 PM, it will now become easier to keep an eye on the country’s borders. The satellite will work even at night and in bad weather.
RiSAT-2BR1 satellite was launched into space from Launchpad No. 1 of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota via a PSLV-C48 QL rocket. The 628-kg RiSAT-2BR1 satellite was placed in an orbit 576 km above the Earth within 21 minutes of the launch.
Six satellites of America and one each of Israel, Japan and Italy were launched using this rocket.
With this satellite launch, ISRO has established another record: carrying 319 satellites of 33 countries in 20 years. Since 1999, ISRO had installed a total of 310 foreign satellites in space until yesterday. Adding to the score today’s nine satellites, the number has gone up to 319.
ISRO’s capacity for commercial launching has increased year after year. The first commercial launch was held on 26 May 1999 with PASLV-C2. One satellite each of Germany and South Korea was carried by an ISRO rocket in that launch.
In the next decade, that is by 2010, ISRO launched 20 foreign satellites. Since 2010, India’s space agency launched 297 foreign satellites. The average capacity of ISRO’s PSLV rockets is now 16 foreign satellites a year.
ISRO has earned about Rs 6,289 crore from commercial launching (including foreign satellites) in the last three years (2016-18). This information was given by Union minister Jitendra Singh in July in response to a question in the Lok Sabha.
How RiSAT-2BR1 works
RiSAT-2BR1 will work around the clock. It is a satellite operating on microwave frequency. Hence it is called Radar Imaging Satellite. This is the modern version of the RISAT-2 satellite.
RiSAT-2BR1 can function in any season. Further, it will be able to take pictures even through the clouds. But these pictures will not be like what an ordinary camera yields. Apart from the Army, it will help the agriculture, forest and disaster management departments.
The technology of the initial version of RiSAT was changed after the terrorist attacks on Mumbai on 26/11. After these attacks, the nation’s boundaries were monitored through this satellite. Infiltration was monitored. This satellite can thus be used in anti-terror operations.
Significance of this launch
- This was the 75th launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota
- This was the 50th flight of PSLV
- It was the 37th flight from the first launchpad
- This was the 6th flight in the current year
- This was the 2nd flight of the PSLV-QL rocket
- All 10 satellites were installed within 21 minutes of the launch
- The PSLV-C48 QL rocket has four straps-on