ISRO Will Launch 2 Commercial Satellites Tonight From Sriharikota

Bengaluru: India is ready for its 44th launch of the rocket, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) at Sriharikota and the countdown in this regard is progressing. Sriharikota is the rocket port located on the coast of the Bay of Bengal in Andhra Pradesh. This is a very special launch as the rocket is expected to place in orbit two British satellites for which India will earn from the country of Rs. 200 crores.

The launch by ISRO is completely commercial due to the fact that the whole rocket has been hired by an overseas company. For the launch, India is using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and this will become its 44th mission if successful and this time a lighter version of the PSLV is being used. As there is no Indian satellite on the rocket to be launched, the launch will be purely commercial one as it has been contracted through Antrix Corporation Limited, the commercial arm of ISRO.

Currently Sriharikota rocket port is abuzz with activity for the launch by ISRO as it is in the process to launch the two British satellites into the orbit. ISRO’s Dr. S Somnath, Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Center, Thiruvananthapuram has described the launch as ‘fully Commercial launch by ISRO’. Somnath further says “this is fifth fully commercial launch of PSLV where the whole rocket has been hired by a foreign company”. He adds “PSLV has a very special slot hence foreign companies prefer it because it is highly reliable and India’s offers timely launches without much of a waiting period”.

The British company wanted the launch to be in the night time, and so it will be a night time one so that the specific orbit being targeted for the satellites may become possible and this is possible only if it is launched in this hour. Till now, there have been a total of three launches in night time from Sriharikota.


The British satellites were made by a UK company, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. Weight of both of them combined is 889 kilograms. One of those satellites, NovaSAR satellites has the capability of night viewing for resource mapping, disaster management, and ship detection. And another one of them, S1-4 satellite is meant for the monitoring of environment along with urban management.

The satellite, NovaSar can track ships in high seas and if its is used effectively, it can easily detect unauthorized boat in the seas due to the fact that each ship is supposed to carry equipment by which it can be identified by security agencies by using satellite-based tracking systems. If such a system is used widely, then incidents of terrorists attack too can be avoided for which the example is the movement of Ajmal Kasab using a boat. He and his team of terrorists who were responsible for Mumbai attack in 2008 used the boat to cross the sea and land in India. If such a system is used, then such boats can easily be detected.

The launch will be done with PSLV which weighs 230 tons at liftoff, with a standing height of 44.4 meters and this time the lightest version of PSLV is being deployed which is called as ‘core alone’ version. Until now, only two PSLV launches have failed out of 43 launches which is a good success rate.

According to Mr. Somnath, who works at main rocket lab of India, the launch is good one for the country as it helps in bringing revenue to the country and boosts Indian industry. As of now, 85 percent of PSLV is made by the industry and ISRO wants the industry to make the remaining 15 percent as well.

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