GISAT-1 launch: ISRO postpones March 5 launch; Here’s why

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GISAT-1 launch: The launch of Indian GEO Imaging Satellite (GISAT-1), which was earlier scheduled for Thursday, i.e., March 5, has been postponed due to certain technical reasons, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced on Wednesday. The satellite, supposed to be launched on Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F10), was supposed to be launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at around 5:43 pm on Thursday. Making the announcement, ISRO informed that the updated launch date would be announced in due course.

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According to ISRO, the GISAT-1, which weighs around 2,268 kgs, was slated to be the first Earth observation satellite to be placed in the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit. After being placed there by GSLV-F10, the satellite would have reached the final geostationary orbit with the help of the propulsion system onboard the GISAT-1.

An ogive-shaped payload fairing, with a diameter of 4 metres, would have flown on the GSLV flight for the first time, and the launch would have marked the 14th flight of the GSLV.

The GISAT-1 was made with three broad objectives:

  1. To provide almost real-time observation of the Indian subcontinent at frequent intervals
  2. To quickly monitor natural disasters, episodic events or any other short-term events
  3. To obtain the spectral signature for forestry, agriculture, disaster warning, mineralogy, oceanography, snow and glaciers, and cloud properties.

ISRO had on Monday tweeted that the launch vehicle for the mission GSLV-F10 was as tall as a 16-storey building and it weighed 4,20,300 kgs.

The Indian space agency had also sold out tickets to the public for viewing the launch. With the launch having been postponed for the time being, it is unclear what would happen to the tickets sold so far.

In the current financial year, ISRO has completed the launch of six earth observation satellites, while two are still due to be launched. Meanwhile, for the next financial year, ISRO has planned to launch another five satellites, including two navigation satellites and three communication ones. As per the ISRO annual report for 2019-20, this is the first time that Indian space agency introduced a Geo Imaging Satellite. The ISRO is also planning to launch 10 earth observation satellite in the next financial year.