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ISRO launches spy satellite RISAT-2BR1 aboard 50th PSLV mission

The Indian Space Research Organisation's PSLV-C48 successfully launched from Sriharikota with India's radar imaging earth observation satellite RISAT-2BR1 and nine foreign satellites on board. Notably, this launch marks the 50th flight of Indian space agency's workhorse rocket PSLV and the 75th vehicle mission from Sriharikota.

With clear weather at the designated launch time, the 44.4 metre tall rocket lifted off at 3:25 pm from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre. It was a PSLV-QL variant with four strap-on boosters and a combined propellant load of 48 tonnes. This was the second space trip for this rocket variant.

Among the payload of PSLV-C48 is the 628 kg RISAT-2BR1 satellite with advanced imaging apparatus. These capabilities are meant for applications in various fields like agriculture, forestry and disaster management support. It would also serve military purposes, PTI quoted ISRO sources as saying. This satellite will be placed into an orbit of 576 km at an inclination of 37 degree and will have a life of five years.

Among the remaining satellites, six are from the United States and one each from Italy, Japan and Israel. These satellites are -- USA's multi-mission Lemur-4 satellites, technology demonstration Tyvak-0129, earth imaging 1HOPSAT, Israel's remote sensing Duchifat-3, Italy's search and rescue Tyvak-0092, and Japan's QPS-SAR - a radar imaging earth observation satellite. According to ISRO, these international customer satellites are being launched under a commercial arrangement with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL).

This mission is expected to complete in around 21 minutes after placing the last of the customer satellites into orbit. The rocket, after 16 minutes of launch, will sling RISAT-2BR1 towards its orbit and start ejecting other nine customer satellites a minute later. The ISRO has placed 310 foreign satellites into orbit so far.

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