ISRO launches 30 foreign satellites

The government-run space agency’s satellite launch vehicle PSLV-C43 also successfully launched an indigenously designed and built earth observation satellite HysIS

November 29, 2018

Data from HysIS will be used for applications including agriculture, forestry, geological environments, coastal zones and inland waters

Other satellites were from eight nations: one each from Australia, Canada, Columbia, Finland, Malaysia, Netherlands, Spain and 23 from USA

The latest launch comes within 15 days of the successful GSLV MkIII-D2 mission which launched the GSAT-29 communication satellite

In 2019, ISRO expects to launch at least 12 to 14 missions, including the second mission to moon, Chandrayaan II, expected in January

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on November 29 successfully launched 31 satellites. The government-run space agency said that a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C43) launched an earth observation satellite from India named Hyper-Spectral Imaging Satellite (HysIS), as well as 30 foreign satellites. The last satellite was injected into its designated orbit 109 minutes after lift-off. HysIS is built on ISRO’s Mini Satellite2 (IMS-2) bus weighing about 380kg. The mission life of the satellite is five years.

Data from HysIS will be used for a wide range of applications including agriculture, forestry, geological environments, coastal zones and inland waters, among others. The other satellites included one micro and 29 nano-satellites from eight countries, Australia (1), Canada (1), Colombia (1), Finland (1), Malaysia (1), Netherlands (1), Spain (1) and USA (23). The total weight of the satellites launched was about 261.5 kg. Satellites from Australia, Columbia, Malaysia and Spain were flown aboard PSLV for the first time.

The foreign satellites were launched are part of commercial arrangements between Antrix Corp, the commercial arm of ISRO, and customers. The latest launch comes within 15 days of the successful GSLV MkIII-D2 mission which launched the GSAT-29 communication satellite. With indigenously designed and built HysIS, India how has 47 operational satellites, meant for applications such as communications, earth observation, scientific studies and navigation that have opened up new opportunities in the nation.

In December 2018 ISRO has planned two more launches – GSAT 11 (ISRO’s heaviest satellite) from French Guiana and GSAT 7A from Sriharikota. Next year, the agency will also launch its long expected second mission to moon, Chandrayaan II, expected in January. Overall, ISRO expects to launch 12 to 14 missions in 2019. Additionally, the agency is looking to to launch the first unmanned mission by December 2020 as a precursor to Gaganyaan, India’s first crewed mission expected by December 2021.

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