The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) hosted another successful launch as it put two UK earth observation satellites using its trustworthy PSLV-C42 launcher from Sriharikota on Sunday.

At 10:08 PM on Sunday, the lightest version of ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle – the PSLV-C42 rose into the sky from the the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota. Marking its 44th flight, the PSLV successfully placed two earth observation satellites – NovaSAR and S1-4 into earth’s “sun synchronous orbit”. Both the satellites are owned Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) based in the United Kingdom, and are currently placed a circular orbit around the poles, 583 km from Earth.

Of the two satellites, NovaSAR will specialise to conduct forest mapping, land use, and ice cover monitoring as well as flood and disaster monitoring. Whereas, S1-4 will be used for surveying resources, environment monitoring, urban management, and disaster monitoring. But the big take is for ISRO as its commercial branch Antrix Corporation earned more than ₹220 crore on this launch. Besides winning big bucks, ISRO PSLV-C42 launch on Sunday was a unique mission with an ‘ascending daytime node’ launch – the first multi-execution launch by ISRO.

The launch was ISRO’s first commercial launch in months and the agency is looking forward to more commercial missions for banking better funds and investing more on space research. So far, ISRO has launched 99 satellites, among which 69 are foreign satellites – including some for universities and students. Besides commercial launches, ISRO currently has 84 major clients using its communication services with clients like Reliance, Sun Network and many others.

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