India: The month of September seems to be very important for ISRO as the Indian space agency will launch five more satellites this month in two different orbits, said a top official on Thursday.
“We have two launches this month (September), the first is on September 8 with INSAT-3DR, a weather satellite for meteorological services. The second will be, tentatively, on Sep 26, with four satellites, including our ScatSat, an Algerian satellite and two smaller satellites as co-passengers,” Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman AS Kiran Kumar told reporters at a Space Expo event here.
The satellites will be launched from the state-run space agency’s rocketport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, about 80 km northeast of Chennai. The 2.2-tonne weather satellite will be launched on a heavier rocket, Geo-synchronus Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV Mark II), as it will be deployed in a geostationary orbit at 74 degrees East, about 36,000 km from the earth.
The other four satellites will be launched on the space agency’s reliable workhorse, Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), and deployed in the earth’s lower orbits. The weather satellite will have a six-channel imager and a 19-channel sounder. It will also carry a search and rescue information and message relay for terrestrial data collection platforms.
“The new satellite will augment our capacity to forecast the weather patterns better and in advance to take appropriate measures. Its search and rescue information will help in coordinating disaster management,” said another space official.
INSAT-3DR will supplement the meteorological and data relay services of its predecessor INSAT-3D, which is in operation since July 26, 2013. The 370 kg ScatSat, also a weather forecasting, cyclone prediction and tracking satellite, will replace the space agency Oceansat-2, which is dysfunctional after nearly five years of lifespan.