India’s space agency effectively launched a brand new Earth-observation satellite today ( May 21), boosting the nation’s space-based monitoring capabilities.
The Indian Space Research Organization ( ISRO ) used a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle designated PSLV-C46 to launch its 3rd radar imaging satellite, called RISAT-2B, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, India.
The rocket lifted off at 8 p .m . EDT ( 0000 GMT, or 5: 30 a .m . local time on May 22 ) just as the sun began to rise over the Bay of Bengal.
Built with an X-band synthetic aperture radar, RISAT-2B will be able to look through the clouds to observe Earth’s surface day and night.
Imagery from RISAT-2B can be useful for civilian reasons like agriculture and disaster relief management, ISRO officials declared in a description of the mission. But it will also be used for surveillance reasons.
RISAT-2B will watch over India’s borders and the country’s environment waters to monitor for foreign threats.