September 22, 2019 | 3:58 AM IST

ISRO launches Earth observation satellite RISAT-2B

The Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)-C46 successfully injected its Earth observation satellite -Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT-2B) into the orbit of about 555 km on Wednesday. The 615 kg PSLV took off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh at 5.30am. The countdown for the same had begun on Tuesday at 4.30 am and progressed smoothly.

The space agency issued a statement quoting, “PSLV C-46 RISAT-2B mission an outstanding success.” The satellite has a mission life of five years. RISAT-2B will replace RISAT-2 launched in 2009 and boost surveillance capabilities among others, says a release.

The RISAT-2 has been used to monitor activities in camps across the Pakistan border to thwart infiltration bids by terrorists. RISAT-2B is equipped with synthetic aperture radar that captures pictures of the Earth during day and night and even when it is cloudy. It is almost like using the flashlights of a camera which releases visible light to illuminate an object and then use the reflected light to create an image. The aperture radar then sends out hundreds of radio signals every second towards its subject-Earth and the radio image is then used by computers to build a real image.

ISRO chairman K Sivan had earlier described the mission as “very, very important”. He also added that after mission RISAT-2B, ISRO would concentrate on Chandrayaan-2 which is scheduled for July 9 and July 16 launch.

Wednesday’s launch also marked the third launch in 2019- PSLV-C-45/EMISAT and PSLV-C-44 being the other two.

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