In the early hours of Monday, the Indian Space Research Organization successfully launched the Earth Observation Satellite (EOS-04) atop the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. The launch also sent two more ride-hailing satellites into orbit, putting the Indian space agency’s plans for 2022 in action. At 5:59 a.m., EOS-04 was launched from SAR in Sriharikota into a Sun-Synchronous Orbit about 529 kilometres above the globe. The four-stage rocket launched INSPIRESat, a student satellite, and INSAT-2DT, a spacecraft that will serve as a forerunner to a future joint India-Bhutan mission.
The launch director stated, to cheers in Mission Control, that all three satellites had been successfully deployed. “The mission of PSLV-C52 has been successfully completed,” Isro chairman S Somnath said after the launch.
The Earth Observation Satellite-04, also known as the Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT), was designed to deliver high-quality photographs in all weather circumstances for applications such as agriculture, forestry, and plantation management, flood mapping, soil moisture & hydrology. The spacecraft will acquire C-Band observation data, completing the observations made by the Resourcesat, Cartosat, and RISAT-2B series. The satellite has a ten-year operational life.
The Indian Institute of Space Science & Technology collaborated with the University of Colorado’s Atmospheric & Space Physics Laboratory to construct the 8.1-kilogram student satellite known as INSPIRESat-1. This was PSLV’s first launch since the loss of the EOS-03 mission last year. The mission was ruled a failure by the space agency due to a technical issue with the system.
The first launch of 2022 has put in action ISRO’s ambitions to carry out 18 missions this year, including the high-profile launch of Chandrayaan-3 to the Moon and the long-awaited uncrewed launch of the country’s Gaganyaan mission.