Isro all set to launch GISAT-1 Earth observation satellite tomorrow, countdown begins


Guwahati: Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) informed early on Wednesday morning that countdown has begun for the launch of the GSLV-F10 EOS-03 mission. The geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV) is scheduled to launch the Earth observation satellite (EOS) – GISAT-1 at 5:43 am tomorrow (i.e. on Thursday, August 12) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The launch, which the country is eagerly looking forward to ahead of Independence Day, is, however, subject to weather conditions, the national space agency has warned.

“Countdown for the launch of GSLV-F10/EOS-03 mission commenced today at 0343Hrs (IST) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota,” tweeted Isro from its official handle on the microblogging website. The post included a photo of the GSLV-F10 mission, with the rocket decked at the Sriharikota spaceport waiting for its lift-off tomorrow. Hours later, the space agency informed that the filling of oxidiser for the second stage (GS2) of GSLV-F10 has been completed, while the filling of propellant for the aforementioned second stage has commenced.

The GSLV-F10 mission carries a geo-imaging satellite GISAT-1. Once in orbit around the Earth, it is expected to essentially be India’s “eye in the sky”, monitoring locations of interest while appearing motionless in space (since it will travel at the rate of rotation of the planet). The geosynchronous satellite will also help India monitor and respond to natural disasters and any other short-term events at an alarming pace, according to officials of the space agency familiar with the matter.

Moreover, the GISAT-1 satellite will also obtain spectral signatures for agriculture, forestry, mineralogy, cloud properties, snow and glaciers, and oceanography, read an official bulletin from Isro detailing the mission description and the targeted transfer orbit.

This is the fourteenth flight of the geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle. In a first, Isro is sending an Ogive-shaped payload measuring a diameter of 4 metres this time.

Isro said that EOS-03, the 2,268-kg state-of-the-art agile Earth observation satellite, will be placed by the launch vehicle in Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit. Subsequently, the satellite will reach the final geostationary orbit using its onboard propulsion system, officials said.

Jitendra Singh, the Union minister of state (MoS) in charge of the department of space, had confirmed earlier this week in the Lok Sabha that the Earth Observation Satellite-03 is scheduled to be launched on August 12. PSLV-C52 is also scheduled to launch EOS-04, another Earth observation satellite, in the third quarter of 2021, he added.