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Recent Launches

Recent Launches

PSLV-C51 launch

ISRO recently achieved the successful launch of PSLV-C51. This marked the 53rd flight of ISRO’s launch vehicle and the inaugural dedicated mission of its commercial subsidiary, NewSpace India Ltd.

Satellites onboard
  • The payload carried 19 satellites, including Brazil’s Amazonia-1 optical earth observation satellite, along with 18 co-passenger satellites—five from India and 13 from the U.S.
  • Amazonia-1, heralded as Brazil’s first fully indigenous satellite, aims to monitor the Amazon forests.
  • They successfully positioned it into its precise orbit at 758 km in a sun-synchronous polar orbit.

Among the Indian satellites were:

  • The Satish Dhawan SAT (SDSAT) developed by Space Kidz India. Notably, it features an engraving of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on its top panel.
  • This nano-satellite aims to explore radiation levels, space weather, and showcase long-range communication technologies.
  • The UNITYsat, comprising three satellites intended to provide radio relay services.

Additionally, a satellite from the DRDO was also part of the mission’s payload.

CMS-01 Satellite

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched the CMS-01 satellite to provide communication services throughout the Indian subcontinent. The main aim is to make telecom and broadcasting better, especially in remote areas, so everyone can stay connected reliably.


  • GSAT-30, continuing the legacy of ISRO’s earlier INSAT/GSAT satellite series, is set to take over from INSAT-4A in orbit.
  • Configured on ISRO’s enhanced I-3K Bus structure, GSAT-30 facilitates communication services from Geostationary orbit.
  • GSAT-30 operates using two satellite frequencies:
  • It beams signals to India and its islands in the Ku band, while also reaching from Australia to Europe in the C-band.
  • The Ku and C bands, along with others, make up a spectrum from 1 to 40 gigahertz used in satellite communications.

GSAT-30, designed to last for more than 15 years, aims to provide Direct-to-Home (DTH) television services, enable connectivity to Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs) for various applications like ATM, stock exchange, television uplinking, and teleport services. Moreover, it will assist in Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG) and e-governance applications.


What is EOS-01?
  • EOS-01 serves as an Earth observation satellite.
  • The satellite, part of the RISAT series, joins RISAT-2B and RISAT-2BR1, which launched the previous year.
  • All future earth observation satellites will be classified under the EOS-series designation.
What are earth-observation satellites used for?
  • Satellites help us map land and forests, track water, minerals, and fisheries, observe weather and climate, assess soil, and map geographical features.
Advantages of radar imaging over optical instruments
  • Radar imaging remains unaffected by weather, clouds, fog, or the absence of sunlight, allowing it to produce high-quality images under any conditions and at any time.


  • This earth observation satellite, equipped with radar imaging technology, serves the agriculture, forestry, and disaster management sectors. It has an operational lifespan of 5 years.
  • Accompanying the mission were nine customer satellites from Israel, Italy, Japan, and the USA, launched through a commercial agreement with New Space India Limited (NSIL).
  • The RISAT series, initiated with the deployment of RISAT-2 on April 20, 2009, utilizes synthetic aperture radars (SAR) for all-weather surveillance and observation. This capability is crucial for Indian forces to detect potential threats or malicious activities along the nation’s borders.
  • Following the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, priority was given to the launch of RISAT-2 over RISAT-1 due to the former’s readiness, featuring a C-band SAR radar. Additionally, RISAT-2 carried an Israeli-built X-band radar.


  • Cartosat-3, a third-generation advanced earth observation satellite developed by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), boasts high-resolution imaging capabilities.
  • With a panchromatic resolution of 0.25 meters, Cartosat-3 holds the title of having the highest resolution among imaging satellites. Additionally, it offers a multispectral (Mx) resolution of 1 meter, representing a significant improvement over previous payloads in the Cartosat series.
  • Notably, Cartosat-2 played a crucial role in planning and executing military operations, including ‘surgical strikes’ across the Line of Control in 2016 and operations along the Manipur-Myanmar border in 2015. Cartosat-2 boasted a resolution of 65 cm.
Applications of Cartosat-3
  • It will meet the growing demands of users for large-scale urban planning, rural resource and infrastructure development, coastal land use, and land cover analysis.
  • In its 2017-18 annual report, ISRO outlined a clear strategy for enhancing India’s Earth observation (EO) capabilities.
  • This strategy focuses on capturing various themes including land, water, cartography, ocean, atmosphere, and meteorology.
  • New missions like the Geo Imaging Satellite (GISAT), aimed at providing real-time imaging, will complement established missions such as Resourcesat, Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT), Cartosat, Oceansat, and the Indian National Satellite System (INSAT) constellation.
  • Together, these missions contribute to India’s extensive fleet of EO satellites, offering one of the most comprehensive sets of remote-sensing data globally.


ISRO’s successful launch of an advanced communication satellite, using its heavy-lift launcher GSLV MkIII, is a major milestone. The satellite, GSAT29, was deployed into a geosynchronous transfer orbit where it reaches its closest point to Earth at 190 km and farthest at 35,975 km.

Work of GSLV-MkIII and GSAT-29

ISRO states that the GSAT-29 satellite serves as a testbed for various new technologies and is specifically designed to address the communication needs of users in remote areas of the country. They expect it to remain operational for approximately 10 years.

The GSLV-MkIII, ISRO’s fifth-generation launch vehicle, is designed to deploy satellites weighing up to 4,000 kg in Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO). As India’s heaviest launch vehicle developed, GSLV MkIII successfully carried GSAT29, the heaviest satellite launched from Indian soil to date. ISRO plans to use the heavy-lift launcher for the Chandrayaan-II mission in early 2019.

GSAT – 11

  • ISRO built its heaviest satellite ever, GSAT-11, weighing about 5854 kilograms.
  • They launched it onboard an Ariane-5 launch vehicle from French Guiana.
  • Initially, ISRO will place the satellite in Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit, and later, they will raise it to Geostationary Orbit using the onboard Liquid Apogee Motor.
  • ISRO has launched GSAT-11, which is part of its new family of high-throughput communication satellites (HTS).
  • According to ISRO, GSAT-11’s multiple spot beam coverage includes 32 beams in Ku band and eight in Ka bands, providing improved service of 16 gbps over the Indian region and nearby islands.
  • The satellite will also feature VSAT Terminals to handle large capacity platforms and support a significant subscriber base.
GSAT 11: Why is it important?
  • GSAT-11 will significantly enhance speeds and capacity, offering up to 16 Gbps, to meet the increasing demand for mobile and internet services in households, businesses, and public organizations.
  • Many rural areas still lack access to commercial telecom services, a gap that GSAT-11 aims to bridge. It will play a crucial role in extending voice and video streaming services to most, if not all, rural regions under Digital India’s BharatNet project.
  • With India’s focus on implementing ‘Smart Villages and Cities’, GSAT-11 will facilitate efficient communication and connectivity between these areas through its large communication satellite infrastructure.


  • The GSAT 7 series, launched in 2013, serves as a dedicated communications satellite for the Indian Navy, ensuring independence from foreign satellites for blue water capabilities. With a 2,000 nautical mile footprint, GSAT 7 provides real-time inputs to Indian warships, submarines, and maritime aircraft.
  • GSAT-7A, slated for placement in geostationary orbit, is designed to enhance the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) network-centric warfare capabilities. It will interlink ground radar stations, airbases, and AWACS (Airborne Warning And Control System) aircraft.
  • Equipped with Ku-band transponders and two deployable solar arrays, GSAT-7A is expected to play a crucial role in drone operations.
  • In the coming years, alongside GSAT-7A, the IAF is gearing up to receive GSAT-7C, which will further strengthen network-centric operations.

Read also: Cloudburst in Himachal Pradesh

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