After a highly successful launch of the Agni V, India is now ready to launch its own 'spy satellite' RISAT-1. It will be powered by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from Sriharikota on Thursday at 5.47 am. The indigenously made satellite will have day and night viewing capability and will be able to see through cloud cover.
The total cost of the mission is about Rs 500 crore and is probably the most expensive and most complex mission to be launched from India till date, says Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
The 321 tonne launcher, in its most powerful configuration, will endeavour to put India's heaviest satellite till date in orbit. Weighing at 1528 kg, the satellite's main purpose will be to monitor crops and forecast floods during the Kharif season, said ISRO.
The project for India's heaviest microwave satellite is being directed by N Valarmathi. She is the second woman to be the satellite project director at ISRO, and the first to head a remote sensing satellite project.
This all-weather surveillance tool is sometimes referred in common parlance as a spy satellite.
India already has another powerful spy satellite called RISAT-2 acquired from Israel and launched using the PSLV in 2009.