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50th PSLV Launch

  • 12 Dec 2019
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Recently, India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C48) marked its 50th launch by injecting India’s advanced radar imaging earth observation satellite RISAT-2BR1.

  • PSLV-C48 also injected 9 other customer satellites from Japan, Italy, Israel and the U.S.A. into their intended orbits.
  • This was 75th launch vehicle mission from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.


  • The 628 kg RISAT-2BR1, is placed into a 576-km orbit at an inclination of 37 degrees.
  • It is the second satellite in the RISAT-2B series and along with the CARTOSAT-3, it is the part of 'spy' satellites.
    • These satellites will keep a check on infiltration by allowing round-the-clock surveillance across the border.
  • It has a life of five years.
  • RISAT-2BR1 is expected to bolster the country’s border monitoring measures besides aiding in disaster management, agriculture and tracking forest cover.
    • It is equipped with a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) that can take pictures of the earth both during the day and night, irrespective of the cloud conditions.

Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle

  • Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) is the third generation launch vehicle of India.
  • It is a four-staged launch vehicle with first and third stage using solid rocket motors and second and fourth stages using liquid rocket engines.
    • It is the first Indian launch vehicle to be equipped with liquid stages.
  • Initially, PSLV had a carrying capacity of 850 kg but has been enhanced to 1.9 tonnes.
  • The PSLV has helped take payloads into almost all the orbits in space including Geo-Stationary Transfer Orbit (GTO), the Moon, Mars and would soon be launching a mission to the Sun.
    • Between 1994 and 2019, the PSLV launched 50 Indian satellites and 222 foreign satellites for over 70 international customers from 20 countries.
  • It has a history of successful launches of payloads that include Chandrayaan-1, Mars Orbiter Mission(MOM) and the space recovery mission, etc.
    • The PSLV has failed only twice in its history — the maiden flight of the PSLV D1 in 1993 and the PSLV C-39 in 2017.

Source: TH

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