India successfully launches surveillance satellite
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Giving a big boost to its defence surveillance capabilities, India on Monday successfully launched an all-weather Israeli-built spy satellite that will help security agencies keep a vigil on the country's borders.
Indian space agency ISRO's workhorse, PSLV-C12 rocket soared majestically into a clear sky at 6.45 am from the spaecport in Sriharikota and placed its first Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT 2) and micro-educational satellite ANUSAT into orbit about 19 minutes later in a textbook launch.
The 300 kg RISAT-2 will primarily keep an eye on the country's borders round-the-clock and help in anti-infiltration and anti-terrorist operations.
A jubilant ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair said "the year 2009 has started off well. The final moments of the launch were more thrilling than a cricket match as we hit a few boundaries and bowled some googlies."
Nair said the performance of the PSLV-C12 launch vehicle was "precise and on the dot". "Again, we have set a record. As in the past, we declared the launch date, time and we made it happen."
He said RISAT2 would be a good asset to national resources and "I am sure it is going to serve the country well."
RISAT2 has all-weather capabilities to take images of Earth and would also be beneficial in mapping and managing natural disasters, such as floods and landslides.
The 40 kg micro satellite ANUSAT, the co-passenger of RISAT 2, has been built by Anna University, to demonstrate the technologies related to message store and forward operations.
ANUSAT, the first built by an Indian University, is a 'store-and-forward' communication satellite that will help transfer confidential academic material and also monitor drought and wasteland, urban planning and other studies.
RISAT2 has a lifespan of three years and ANUSAT, one year.
Different from previous remote sensing satellites, RISAT2 uses Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), equipped with many antennas, to receive signals which are processed into high-resolution pictures.
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