The Indian Space Research Organisation has launched two British satellites tonight for which India will earn upwards of Rs. 200 crore.
It is the 44th launch of the Indian rocket the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) at Sriharikota, India’s rocket port on the coast of the Bay of Bengal in Andhra Pradesh.
This is a fully commercial launch by ISRO where the whole rocket has been hired by an overseas company. India’s workhorse rocket the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) is on its 44th mission and a lighter version of the PSLV is being used.
No Indian satellite is being launched as this is a fully commercial launch contracted through Antrix Corporation Limited ISRO’s commercial arm.
Mr Somnath explains “this is fifth fully commercial launch of PSLV where the whole rocket has been hired by a foreign company”. He says “PSLV has a very special slot hence foreign companies prefer it because it is highly reliable and India’s offers timely launches without much of a waiting period”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the top space agency.
Congratulations to our space scientists! ISRO successfully launched PSLV C42, putting two UK satellites in orbit, demonstrating India's prowess in the competitive space business. @isro
— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 16, 2018
It was launched at night as desired by the British company as it seeks a specific orbit for its satellites that could be got only if the rocket was launched at this hour.
Till date there have been only three night launches from Sriharikota.
The British satellites are made by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, UK and they together weigh 889 kilograms. NovaSAR satellite has day and night viewing capability for resource mapping, disaster management and ship detection.
S1-4 satellite is meant for environment monitoring and urban management.