The EOS-01 radar imaging satellite with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) can shoot pictures in the day as well as night.

ISRO PSLV satellite launch with 9 customer satellitesPhoto: ISRO
news Space Saturday, November 07, 2020 - 15:12

The Indian Space Research Organization on Saturday, at 3.12 pm, launched EOS-01 its primary earth observation satellite along with nine international customer satellites. The EOS-01 was launched by India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C49 and is its 51st flight. 

EOS-01 is India’s radar imaging satellite with synthetic aperture radar (SAR). It can shoot pictures in the day as well as night. The rocket PSLV-C49, carrying the 10 satellites is set to take off from the launch pad located at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 3.05 pm. On January 17, 2020, ISRO launched India’s telecommunication satellite GSAT-30. The satellite was launched from Kourou launch base in French Guinea using an Ariane rocket.

With this launch, ISRO has sent a total of 328 foreign satellites to space, and all of it for free, The Quint reported. The PSLV is a four-engine rocket, which uses solid and liquid fuels alternatively. The rocket has six booster motors strapped on to the first stage, which will give it higher thrust during its initial flight. 

According to ISRO, EOS-01, is a 630 kg earth observation satellite, and intended for applications in agriculture, forestry and disaster management support, ISRO said in a statement. 

The customer satellites are being launched under commercial agreement with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), Department of Space. These include one from Lithuania for technology demonstration, and four each from Luxembourg and USA for maritime applications and multi-mission remote sensing respectively. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the media was not allowed to witness the launch. However. ISRO live-streamed the event. 

The PSLV in normal configuration is a four stage/engine expendable rocket powered by solid and liquid fuels alternatively. Six booster motors will also be strapped on to the first stage to give higher thrust during the initial flight moments.

But the 44.4 metre tall PSLV rocket that flew on Saturday was the DL variant having only two strap-booster motors. The lift off weight of the rocket is 259 ton. This rocket variant was used the first time to put the Microsat R satellite into orbit on January 24, 2019. The Indian space agency has PSLV variants with two and four strap-on motors, larger PSLV-XL and the Core Alone variant without any strap-on motors. The choice of the rocket to be used for a mission depends on the weight of the satellite and the orbit where the satellite has to be orbited

According to IANS, the next rocket to fly after PSLV-C9 would be the PSLV-C50 carrying the GSAT-12R satellite. It is likely to fly from the second launch pad in Sriharikota in December this year. The other Indian satellites that are ready for launch are GISAT, Microsat-2A and GSAT-12R. GISAT-1 was slated for launch in March this year, but was pushed for a later date due to technical complication a day before the launch. 

(IANS inputs)