ISRO began countdown for launch of two UK satellites

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The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) began the countdown for the launch of its polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) C42 carrying two earth observation satellites for the United Kingdom. The launch vehicle- PSLV-C42 is scheduled for launch at 10.08 PM from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

The launch vehicle will carry two earth observing satellites – NovaSAR and S1-4 of Surrey Satellite Technology Limited, UK.

• The mission is a commercial arrangement between the British company and Antrix Corporation Limited, which is the commercial wing of ISRO.

• The 33-hour countdown for the launch began at 1.08 PM on September 15, 2018. There is no Indian satellite on this flight.

• The launch vehicle will lift NovaSAR and S1-4 to a sun-synchronous (‘pole-to-pole’) orbit 583 km from the Earth.

•  The entire flight up to the release of the satellites has been designed to take place within 17.5 minutes.

NovaSAR :

NovaSAR is an S-Band synthetic aperture radar satellite, which will map forest, land use and monitor ice cover, flood and disaster.

S1-4 :

S1-4 is a high-resolution optical Earth observation satellite that will be used for surveying resources, urban management and monitoring of the environment and disasters.

•  The launch will mark PSLV-C42’s first fully commercial trip of the year, breaking a five-month-long lull, for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). This will be the 44th PSLV and the 12th time it will fly as core-alone.

•  Antrix has so far contracted over 280 foreign customer satellites for a fee, among which, most are small experimental or earth observation spacecraft.

• ISRO did not make any launch post April 12, after it put replacement navigation satellite IRNSS-1I to space on PSLV-C41.