India will launch its Geo Imaging Satellite (GISAT-1) with its Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV- F10) on March 5. According to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), its GSLV-F10 rocket carrying the GISAT-1 is expected to lift off at 5:43PM on March 5, 2020. The launch is subject to the weather conditions, the space agency added.
Weighing about 2,275 kg, GISAT-1 is a state-of-the-art agile Earth observation satellite. It will will be placed in a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) by GSLV-F10. Subsequently, the satellite will reach the final geostationary orbit using its onboard propulsion system. A four metre diameter Ogive shaped payload fairing (heat shield) is being flown for the first time in this GSLV flight. This is the fourteenth flight of the GSLV.
Operating from geostationary orbit, GISAT-1 will facilitate near real time observation of the Indian sub-continent, under cloud free condition, at frequent intervals, ISRO said. GISATs feature five types of multispectral cameras that provide near real-time pictures of large areas of the country. The images are available subject to cloud-free conditions and at frequent intervals. They capture field images in every five minutes and every Indian landmass image is captured every 30 minutes at 50 metres spatial resolution.
The GISAT-1 has a planned lifespan of seven years. However, GISAT-1 won’t be alone in the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit. It will be joined by second identical satellite that will provide resolution in the range of 50 meters to 1.5 kilometers. The second satellite is planned to launch in July. On its website, ISRO notes that GSLV-F10 will launch Geo Imaging Satellite (GISAT-1) from the second launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
The timing of the launch could not have been any more important. The space agency recently launched its communication satellite GSAT-30 successfully. It is also working with smartphone makers to embed NavIC technology for indigenous location mapping. The launch of GISAT-1 will add to the growing list of satellites launched by ISRO in the recent times. The space agency is trying to add indigenous capabilities with these new technologies and satellite launches.
(Written with IANS inputs)