ISRO successfully launched its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C43 (PSLV-C43) rocket carrying India's best-ever high-resolution earth imaging satellite HysIS (Hyperspectral Imaging Satellite). Besides this, the workhorse rocket also carried 30 small co-passenger satellites from eight different countries, mostly belonging to the United States.
The 45th flight of the PSLV was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh's Sriharikota. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle placed 31 satellites in two different orbits - one at a higher altitude and the others in a lower altitude.
All the foreign satellites were placed in the designated 504 km orbit.
"HysIS is an earth observation satellite developed by ISRO. It was the primary satellite of the PSLV-C43 mission. The satellite was placed in 636 km polar sun synchronous orbit (SSO) with an inclination of 97.957 deg. The mission life of the satellite is 5 years," ISRO said.
According to the space agency, the primary goal of HysIS is to study the earth's surface in visible, near infrared and shortwave infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Dubbed the "sharp eye", ISRO chairman Dr K Sivan, in his post-launch briefing, said, "It is a state-of-the-art satellite and an excellent space asset." The space craft is healthy in its precise orbit. It will keep a sharp vigil on the Indian sub-continent and help in identifying surface objects very accurately.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) holds the record for launching the highest number of satellites in a single mission - 104 -on February 15, 2017.
The PSLV's main passenger, informally called "Chhota Bheem" after a popular cartoon character, weighs a relatively low 380 kg. "HysIS is a very rare satellite with a super-sharp eye, and very few countries have indigenously mastered this technology," said Dr Sivan. "Many countries are trying to send such hyper-spectral cameras into space but interpreting its results is not easy."
The co-passengers of HysIS include one Micro and 29 Nano satellites from eight different countries, the agency said. "Our customers must be happy as all the babies have been delivered to their homes safely," Dr Sivan said.