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ISRO gears up to launch Oceansat, 8 other satellites today: All you need to know

Primary payload is third-generation satellite in the Oceansat series


The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is set to launch its Earth Observation satellite-6 (EOS-6), along with eight other customer satellites on a PSLV-C54 rocket from Sriharikota on Saturday. The lift-off is scheduled at 11.56 am.

EOS-6, the primary payload, will be separated first into 'orbit-1', and the remaining satellites will be placed into different sun-synchronous orbits based on customer requirements. The earth observation satellite is expected to be placed after reaching an altitude of about 742 km about 20 minutes after lift-off.

What is EOS-6

The EOS-6 is the third-generation satellite in the Oceansat series. The Oceansat series of satellites are used for monitoring water bodies and the atmosphere. ISRO launched the first Oceansat in 1999, followed by Oceansat-2 in 2009.

The EOS-6 will provide continuity services of Oceansat-2 spacecraft with enhanced payload specifications as well as application areas. The objective of the mission is to ensure data continuity of ocean colour and wind vector data to sustain operational applications.

Other satellites

The other eight satellites include ISRO nano satellite-2 for Bhutan (INS-2B) which would have two payloads. Developed by Bhutan scientists, the INS-2B is part of ISRO's moves to support space diplomacy.

These also include Thybolt—two satellites from Hyderabad-based space start-up Dhruva Space. The Thybolt 1 and 2 satellites will benefit a large number of amateur radio operators worldwide. This comes close on the heels of Skyroot Aerospace's successful launch of Vikram-S rocket last week.

The PSLV-C54 will also launch Anand—a hyperspectral imaging satellite from Bengaluru-based startup Pixxel. The imagery from the satellite can be used to detect pest infestation, map forest fires, and identify soil stress and oil slicks amongst other things, the startup said in a release. Pixxel had earlier become the first Indian company ever to launch a commercial satellite to space when it launched 'Shakuntala' in April through SpaceX.

Switzerland's four Astrocast satellites will also piggyback on ISRO's primary payload.

This mission is the 56th flight of the PSLV and the 24th in its XL configuration.