Sunday, April 19, 2009

India nears Military Satellite Launch

India is stepping up the way it locates terrorist cells in and around her country with the launch of a military radar satellite from it's space center tonight (USA time).

Scheduled for launch at 01:15 UTC on April 20th (or 9:15 pm EDT tonight), the Radar Imaging Satellite or RISAT 2 will lift off from the Satish Dhawan Space Center's Pad 2, located on an island on the east coast of Andhra Pradesh in southern India.

According to the Indian Space Research Organisation, RISAT-2 and a secondary payload, ANUSAT, will launch aboard the PSLV-C12 rocket and into an orbit of 550 km (345 miles) high, and at an orbital inclination of 41 degrees to the equator. This will be the 15th launch of the 44 meters tall PSLV-C12 rocket.

Using a hi-tech radar dish, the RISAT will take very detailed images of suspected terrorist threats and will watch over its bordering country of Pakistan. Pakistan Defense stated last week that "the newly-acquired satellite will immensely enhance India's capability to keep a tab on its unfriendly neighborhood. Risat-2 is considered to be the first of its kind for India."

The launch countdown began at the T-:48 hour mark on Friday night at 9:15 pm EDT. There will be no traditional LIVE television of the launch according to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

ISRO tells, "PSLV is a four-stage launch vehicle employing both solid and liquid propulsion stages. PSLV is the trusted workhorse launch Vehicle of ISRO. During 1993-2008 period, PSLV had fourteen launches of which thirteen were consecutively successful".

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