The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), the heavy weight rocket was launched into orbit by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It was carrying two earth observation satellites of Britain’s Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), namely, NovaSAR and S1-4 weighing 450 kg each. This is a collaboration between Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd and Antrix Corporation Ltd, ISRO’s commercial arm.
The PSLV was launched at Sriharikota on the Bay of Bengal in Andhra Pradesh and is the first commercial trip of the year. India is trying to break into the $300 billion global space industry as part of PM Modi’s plan to project the country as a global low-cost provider of services in space.
NovaSAR will be used for forest mapping, land use and ice cover observation, flood and disaster monitoring. S1-14, a high-resolution Earth Observation satellite will be utilized for surveying resources, environment and disaster monitoring.
ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan commented on the success, “I am extremely happy that the PSLV-C42 precisely launched two of our customer satellites at 583 km orbit. This was unique night mission executed for the first time by us. The PSLV has proven yet again as a user-friendly vehicle in all aspects. The credit goes to the entire ISRO team and industries. This success will give added energy for industries to make PSLV by themselves. We are going to have 18 missions in the next six months, virtually one launch every two weeks.”