Early Wednesday morning, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced that the countdown for the launch of the GSLV-F10 EOS-03 mission had begun.
The Earth observation satellite (EOS) GISAT-1 will be launched by the geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, at 5:43 a.m. tomorrow (Thursday, August 12). The launch, which the country is excitedly anticipating ahead of Independence Day, is, however, weather-dependent, according to the national space agency.
“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. A snapshot of the GSLV-F10 mission was included in the article, with the rocket docked at the Sriharikota spaceport, ready to launch tomorrow.
The GSLV-F10 mission is carrying the GISAT-1 geo-imaging satellite. It is expected to serve as India’s “eye in the sky” once in orbit around the Earth, monitoring sites of interest while appearing immobile in space (since it will travel at the rate of rotation of the planet). According to individuals acquainted with the situation, the geosynchronous satellite will also help India monitor and respond to natural disasters and other short-term occurrences at a rapid pace.
According to an official bulletin from ISRO explaining the mission description and the anticipated transfer orbit, the GISAT-1 satellite would also acquire spectral signatures for agriculture, forestry, mineralogy, cloud characteristics, snow and glaciers, and oceanography.
The geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle is on its fourteenth mission. This time, ISRO is delivering an Ogive-shaped payload with a diameter of 4 metres, which is a first.
The launch vehicle will deploy EOS-03, a 2,268-kg state-of-the-art agile Earth observation satellite, into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit, according to ISRO. The satellite will then use its onboard propulsion engine to reach the ultimate geostationary orbit, according to officials.
Jitendra Singh, the Union minister of state (MoS) in charge of the space department, revealed in the Lok Sabha earlier this week that the Earth Observation Satellite-03 will be launched on August 12. In the third quarter of 2021, PSLV-C52 will also launch EOS-04, another Earth observation satellite, he noted.