In a pre-dawn launch on Wednesday, Indian space agency ISRO scripted history by successfully launching earth observation satellite RISAT-2B that would enhance the country's surveillance capabilities among others.
As the 25-hour countdown which had began on Tuesday concluded, the agency's trusted workhorse, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C46) blasted off at 5.30 am from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on its 48th mission, carrying the 615 kg satellite.
The RISAT-2B (Radar Imaging Satellite-2B), meant for application in fields such as surveillance, agriculture, forestry and disaster management support, was successfully released into its orbit at about 15 minutes and 30 seconds after the lift-off.
Commenting on the launch from the Mission Control Centre, ISRO Chairman K. Sivan said that the PSLV-C46 successfully injected RISAT-2B precisely in the designated orbit of 555 km, with an inclination of 37 degrees.
"This particular mission for PSLV is a very, very important mission. With this launch, PSLV lofts 50 tonnes to space by launching 354 satellites, including national, student and foreign satellites," Sivan said.
The ISRO chairman said the PSLV-C46 carried two important piggyback payloads, an indigenously developed processor and a low cost Inertial Navigation System.
"It is going to revolutionise our future launch vehicle missions" he said.
Sivan said the RISAT-2B is an advanced earth observation satellite.
"In this satellite, another very complex new technology has flown. That is a 3.6 metre unfurlable radial rib antenna. This is also going to be the technology of the future," he added.
(with news agency inputs)