The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will launch its most reliable workhorse, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), on Wednesday (December 11) at 3:25 p.m. with the Indian radar image earth observation satellite RISAT-2BR1 from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota. The countdown to launch PSLVC48 started on Tuesday (December 10th) at 4:40 p.m.
The PSLV, which is the third generation of launchers in India, is the first Indian launch vehicle to be equipped with liquid stages. The main payload of this rocket will be RISAT-2BR1, weighing approximately 628 kg, which will be placed in an orbit of 576 km. According to ISRO, based in Bengaluru, the RISAT-2BR1 would be used for land, forestry and disaster management.
In addition to the launch of RISAT-2BR1, ISRO will launch nine foreign satellites as passengers of the Indian satellite. The customer satellites include six US satellites and one each from Israel, Italy and Japan. In addition to being the 50th launch of the PSLV, the start on Wednesday marks several milestones for the ISRO – the second flight of the PSLV in a "QL" configuration (with 4 strap-on engines). This is the 75th launch mission from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota and the 37th launch from the first launchpad.
The RISAT-2BR1 is the second satellite in the RISAT-2B series. With the launch of this satellite, Indian security agencies can conduct Earth surveillance from space.
The first RISAT-2B series satellite was launched on May 22, 2019 by ISRO to replace the aging RISAT-2. According to sources, ISRO plans to launch another RISAT-2B series satellite in December 2019 after the launch of RISAT-2BR1.
The PSLV is a four-stage rocket, with the first and third stages using solid rocket motors, while the second and fourth stages use liquid rocket motors. It is considered the most reliable ISRO launcher since 47 of its 49 missions have been successfully flown. The only missions with the PSLV missile failed in 1993 (first launch) and 2017 (41st launch).