The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched an earth observation satellite, along with 30 micro and nanosatellites of eight other countries, on Thursday after a 16-hour countdown.
The 31 satellites were launched at 09:58 am in two different orbits by India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV C43) in its 45th flight.
The Indian satellite, Hyper Spectral Imaging Satellite (HySIS), will help in monitoring pollution from industries, according to ISRO. It will also have other applications in agriculture, forestry, geology, coastal zone study and inland water studies.
“The satellite will observe the surface of the earth and provide all the soil, water, vegetation and other data. Scientists may pick and choose what they want, but pollution monitoring will be possible,” an ISRO official said on the condition of anonymity.
The satellite, weighing nearly 380 kgs, will be placed in a 636-km polar sun-synchronous orbit, where the satellite passes over any given geographical area of the earth when the inclination of the sun is the same. It will have a five-year mission life.
The launch vehicle also had on board one microsatellite and 29 nanosatellites from Australia, Canada, Columbia, Finland, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Spain, and the US. Of these, one microsatellite and 22 nanosatellites are from the United States.
So far, the PSLV has launched 52 Indian and 239 international satellites from 28 countries.