India launches weather satellite

Friday 27th Apr 2012 by theWeather Club

Image: NASA

On 26th April India successfully launched its first all-weather radar imaging satellite from the space centre in Sriharikota in the south of India. Data collected by the satellite will be used for disaster prediction and agriculture forestry.

The radar imaging satellite, RISAT-1, has a life span of around five years and will orbit at 536km above the ground. The satellite will circle the earth 14 times a day sending back high resolution pictures of the surface, and includes microwave imaging that can penetrate through the clouds and fog.

An indigenously developed rocket lifted off at 5:47am at the end of a 71 hour countdown and travelled for 17 minutes into space carrying the satellite and the launch is being hailed as "a grand success" which has catapulted India into a select band of countries having indigenous radar imaging technology. "Only the USA, Canada, Japan and the European consortium have the technology so far," boasted Mr Veeraraghavan, Director at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said it was an important milestone in India's space programme and congratulated scientists of Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) for displaying mastery of the complex launch vehicle technology.