Science & Technology

ISRO Successfully Launches 2 Satellites For The UK, Earning India Rs. 200 Crore

| September 17 , 2018 , 13:24 IST

India is famous for its highly successful space programme, and on Sunday achieved more success as the commercial wing of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched 2 British satellites, earning the nation more than Rs 200 crore.

The launch was the 44th to be carried out by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) at Sriharikota, on the coast of the Bay of Bengal in Andhra Pradesh.

The launch was fully commercial, conducted by ISRO's commercial arm Antrix Corporation Limited with an overseas company hiring the entire rocket and no Indian satellite was launched along with it.

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The satellite launch took place at night as desired by the UK company since it sought a specific orbit for the satellites that was possible only with a late night launch.

ISRO chairman K Sivan announced the mission to be a success and congratulated the scientists.

“Today I am exteremly happy to announce that PSLV-C42 carrying two customer satellites NovaSAR and S1-4 placed them precisely in orbit. Within the next six months, 10 satellite missions and eight launch vehicle missions would be launched – one every two weeks," he said.

The British satellites, together weighing a total of 889 kgs, were made by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, UK. While the NovaSAR satellite has day and night viewing capability for resource mapping, disaster management and ship detection, the S1-4 satellite is meant for environment monitoring and urban management.

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Dr S Somnath, Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram who works at India's main rocket lab, hailed the launch as being good for the country since it brings in revenue and gives the Indian industry a boost.

"India will earn money by this launch. This is fifth fully commercial launch of PSLV where the whole rocket has been hired by a foreign company," Dr Somnath said.

Regarding the benefit of PSLV, Dr Somnath said, "PSLV has a very special slot hence foreign companies prefer it because it is highly reliable and India's offers timely launches without much of a waiting period".