After a wait for almost a decade, the Indian Space Research Organization’s GSLV-F05 rocket has successfully placed the advanced weather satellite INSAT-3DR, in the projected orbit on September 08, 2016, from the launchpad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
A successor to the 2013 launched satellite INSAT-3D, this advanced new generation satellite will be playing instrumental role in sending 3-dimensional night-time cloud images from the geostationary orbit. It carries an atmospheric infrared sounder (AIRS) that formulates a vertical profile of temperature and moisture, thus creating a 3-D spatial distribution of these weather data. This shall play critical part in advanced weather analyses enhancing the capability to make precise forecasts, including those of severe meteorological events. Weighing around 2211kgs, the INSAT-3DR will be placed in a geo-synchronous orbit around 36,000 km above the Earth. The satellite carries a special search and rescue transponder that shall assist in satellite-aided rescue operations for missing aircrafts and sea vessels.
“Today we have achieved another landmark, the first operational flight of the GSLV and the INSAT-3DR has been put in orbit. The launch vehicle has performed exceedingly well,” said Kiran Kumar, chairman, ISRO.
This is an important milestone for India, who is finally proficient of launching heavier satellites, on its own, having to depend on foreign rockets and providers earlier. The estimated costs of the GSLV-F05 INSAT 3DR is around 400 crores, roughly half of what it might cost to buy and launch satellites from overseas vendor.
The satellites will be given company on space, by the larger class of climatological satellites operated by ISRO, i.e. KALPANA-1 and the INSAT-3A.