The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched earth observation satellite RISAT-2B on 22 May 2019. This would enhance India’s surveillance capabilities among the other countries.
The 25 hour countdown which began on Tuesday concluded early morning on Wednesday. As ISRO’s trusted workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C46) launched the satellite at 5.30 am. It was launched from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota. It carried the 615 kg satellite.
The RISAT-2B (Radar Imaging Satellite-2B), destined for application in fields such as surveillance, agriculture, forestry and disaster management support, was released into the orbit around 15 minutes after the lift-off. It would replace the RISAT-2, which was successfully launched in 2009.
As per the ISRO Chairman K Sivan, “This is a very, very important mission for India.” He further added, “It is an excellent satellite with hi-fi earth observation capabilities.” With a mission life of five years, the satellite would also be used for military surveillance, ISRO sources said.
The RISAT-2B is equipped with synthetic aperture radar that can take pictures of the earth during day and night. It also works under cloudy conditions. The RISAT-2 has been actively used by India to monitor activities in camps across the border in Pakistan.
However, it was the 72nd launch vehicle mission from Sriharikota. It also marked the 36th launch from the first launch pad. The other two were the PSLV-C45/EMISAT mission, which successfully injected the EMISAT and 29 international customer satellites into their orbits on April 1, and the PSLV-C44, which successfully placed the Microsat-R and the Kalamsat-V2 satellites in designated orbits on January 24. ISRO had launched RISAT-1, a microwave remote sensing satellite, on April 26, 2012 from Sriharikota.