Indian Space Agency Precision-launches Three Important Satellites
April 22, 2011 • 11:19AM

With the successful launching of the 17th Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and three satellites at an exact altitude, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has come out of despondency that followed the failure of the Geo-Stationary Launch VehicleD3 last April. ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan called the mission "a grand success," because the satellites reached their orbits with great precision.

Of the three satellites launched, two are of particular interest. One is the Resourcesat-2, whose remote-sensing images would be used by countries across the world. The images from the satellite would be useful in monitoring the earth's resources, including crop yield before harvest, the snow-cover on mountains, the glaciers advancing or retreating, the changes in the coastal zones and the urban landscape; locating groundwater; and realigning roads in rural areas.

Dr. R.R. Navalgund, Director, Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad, called the Resourcesat-2 "an extremely important satellite" because it had three cameras mounted on a single platform with high resolution, medium resolution, and coarse resolution. "You can collect data from the entire globe. So, there will be a great demand for this kind of data which is available from the Resourcesat-2. It can provide data more frequently. It will become the workhorse for monitoring the resources of the entire earth for the global community," Dr. Navalgund said.

Another satellite, Youthsat, is a joint Indo-Russian stellar and atmospheric satellite mission with the participation of students from universities at the graduate, post-graduate, and research scholar level. With a lift-off mass of 92 kg, Youthsat is a mini-satellite and its mission is to investigate the relationship between solar variability and thermosphere-Ionosphere changes. The satellite carries three payloads, of which two are Indian and one Russian. Together, they form a unique and comprehensive package of experiments for the investigation of the composition, energetics, and dynamics of earth's upper atmosphere. The Russian payload: Solrad is for monitoring the solar x- and gamma ray fluxes and to study solar cosmic ray flux parameters and conditions of their penetration in the Earth's magnetosphere.

The third satellite, X-sat, is Singapore's first indigenous micro-satellite which would help carry out for the next three years research associated with earth remote-sensing applications, it was said.