ISRO is among the premier space organizations of the world, which has time and again displayed its prowess in space exploration. In 2017 the organization stunned the world by sending a record 104 satellites in space. The year 2019 was eventful for ISRO with the ambitious Chandrayan 2 and many other launches. Let’s have a look at the major ISRO missions in the year.
On January 24, 2019 ISRO sucessfuly launched Microsat-R, an imaging satellite, aboard PSLV-C44, which was unique as it was for the first time ISRO used the last stage of the rocket as a platform to perform experiments in space.
GSAT-31 is configured on ISRO’s enhanced I-2K Bus, utilising the maximum bus capabilities of this type. This satellite will augment the Ku-band transponder capacity in Geostationary Orbit.
Weighing about 2536 kg, GSAT-31 will provide continuity to operational services on some of the in-orbit satellites. The satellite derives its heritage from ISRO’s earlier INSAT/GSAT satellite series. The satellite provides Indian mainland and island coverage.
The designed in-orbit operational life of GSAT-31 is about 15 years.
The satellite was successfully placed in its intended sun-synchronous polar orbit of 748 km height by PSLV-C45 on April 01, 2019. It is a satellite built around ISRO’s Mini Satellite-2 bus weighing about 436 kg, and is intended for electromagnetic spectrum measurement.
Cartosat-3 satellite is a third generation agile advanced satellite having high resolution imaging capability. It will address the increased user’s demands for large scale urban planning, rural resource and infrastructure development, coastal land use and land cover etc
On November 27, 2019, PSLV-C47 lifted-off at 0928Hrs (IST) from the Second Launch Pad of SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota. PSLV-C47 was the 74th launch vehicle mission from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota.Cartosat-3 was injected into an orbit of 509 km at an inclination of 97.5 degree to the equator.
RISAT-2BR1 is an synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) imaging satellite for reconnaissance. It is part of India’s RISAT series of SAR imaging spacecrafts and fourth satellite in the series. RISAT-2BR1 was launched on 11 December 2019 at 09:55 UTC aboard PSLV-C48
Chandrayaan-2 represents a significant technological leap compared to the previous missions of ISRO, which brought together an Orbiter, Lander and Rover with the goal of exploring south pole of the Moon. This is a unique mission which aims at studying not just one area of the Moon but all the areas combining the exosphere, the surface as well as the sub-surface of the moon in a single mission.
After the injection of Chandrayaan-2, a series of maneuvers were carried out to raise its orbit and on August 14, 2019, following Trans Lunar Insertion (TLI) maneuver, the spacecraft escaped from orbiting the earth and followed a path that took it to the vicinity of the Moon. On August 20, 2019, Chandrayaan-2 was successfully inserted into lunar orbit. While orbiting the moon in a 100 km lunar polar orbit, on September 02, 2019, Vikram Lander was separated from the Orbiter in preparation for landing. Subsequently, two de-orbit maneuvers were performed on Vikram Lander so as to change its orbit and begin circling the moon in a 100 km x 35 km orbit. Vikram Lander descent was as planned and normal performance was observed upto an altitude of 2.1 km. Subsequently communication from lander to the ground stations was lost.
The Orbiter placed in its intended orbit around the Moon will enrich our understanding of the moon’s evolution and mapping of the minerals and water molecules in Polar regions, using its eight state-of-the-art scientific instruments.