The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched two satellites, NovaSAR and S1-4, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota.

The launch was conducted by ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket on behalf of UK-based company Surrey Satellite Technology (SSTL).

Around 17 minutes after liftoff, both the satellites were placed into a Sun synchronous orbit at an altitude of 583km.

They were launched as part of a  contract between SSTL and ISRO’s commercial arm Antrix.

The NovaSAR satellite is equipped with an S-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and an Automatic Identification Receiver.

It will used to conduct a number of missions including forestry mapping, land use and ice cover monitoring, flood and disaster monitoring, and maritime missions.

SSTL’s Spacecraft Operations Centre in Guildford, UK will operate NovaSAR.

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“The PSLV has proven yet again as a user-friendly vehicle in all aspects. The credit goes to the entire ISRO team and industries.”

The S1-4 satellite is a high resolution earth observation satellite designed to perform surveys, environment monitoring, urban management and disaster monitoring.

ISRO chairman Dr Sivan said: “This was unique night mission executed for the first time by us.

“The PSLV has proven yet again as a user-friendly vehicle in all aspects. The credit goes to the entire ISRO team and industries.

“This success will give added energy for industries to make PSLV by themselves. We are going to have 18 missions in the next six months, virtually one launch every two weeks.”

The latest mission is the 44th PSLV flight and the 12th Core Alone rocket flight, the lightest version of the vehicle without the six strap-on motors.

PSLV features four stages; each is a self-contained vehicle designed to act independently with its own propulsion systems.

In its previous mission, which was conducted in April, ISRO used the ‘XL’ version of PSLV with six strap-on motors to launch the IRNSS-1I navigation satellite.

ISRO has so far launched 239 foreign satellites from 28 countries.