The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on September 16, 2018 successfully launched its polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) C42 carrying two earth observation satellites for the United Kingdom.
The launch vehicle- PSLV-C42 lifted off at 10.08 PM from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
• The 44.4 metres launch vehicle weighing 230.4 tons carried two earth observing satellites - NovaSAR and S1-4 of Surrey Satellite Technology Limited, UK. There was no Indian satellite on the flight.
• The satellites were put into sun synchronous orbit, 583 km from the Earth, just over 17 minutes after the lift off from the first launch pad. The 33-hour countdown for the launch began at 1.08 PM on September 15, 2018.
• The mission was a commercial arrangement between the British company and Antrix Corporation Limited, which is the commercial wing of ISRO.
• The entire flight up to the release of the satellites was designed to take place within 17.5 minutes.
• With the successful launch of the two British satellites, the total number of foreign satellites launched by India goes up to 239.
NovaSAR is an S-Band synthetic aperture radar satellite, which will map forest, land use and monitor ice cover, flood and disaster.
S1-4 is a high-resolution optical Earth observation satellite that will be used for surveying resources, urban management and monitoring of the environment and disasters.
• The launch marks PSLV-C42's first fully commercial trip of the year, breaking a five-month-long lull, for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). This was the 44th PSLV and the 12th time it flew as core-alone.
• India has been sending foreign satellites belonging to international customers from 29 countries through PSLV.
• More commercial ventures are expected for nano satellites are expected in the future. Presently there is an order of 980 crore Rupees for this fiscal and next fiscal.
• Antrix has so far contracted over 280 foreign customer satellites for a fee, among which, most are small experimental or earth observation spacecraft.
• ISRO did not make any launch post April 12, after it put replacement navigation satellite IRNSS-1I to space on PSLV-C41.
• The space organisation, in fact, recalled its GSAT-11 from the South American launch port of Kourou, weeks before it was due for launch.
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