ISRO postpones launch of top notch imagery satellite GISAT-1 due to technical reasons
New Delhi, Mar 04: India on Wednesday postponed the launch of its latest earth observation satellite "GISAT-1" onboard powerful geosynchronous rocket due to "technical reasons", a day before its scheduled lift-off from the spaceport of Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
"The launch of GISAT-1 onboard GSLV-F10, planned for March 05, 2020, is postponed due to technical reasons. Revised launch date will be informed in due course," the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a statement.
The city-headquartered space agency, however, did not elaborate on the technical reasons that forced the postponement of its first launch this year from Sriharikota.
The 2,268 kg "state-of-the-art agile" Geo Imaging satellite that would operate from geostationary orbit, was tipped to continuously observe land, ocean and atmospheric parameters at high resolution and send near real time images of earth immediately unlike remote sensing satellites which
would take at least 14 days.
It was earlier planned for launch onboard GSLV-F10, which is equal to the height of a 16-storey building, at 5.43 pm on Thursday from the second launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, over 100 kms from Chennai.
Scientists at ISRO for the first time designed the Geo-Stationary Launch Vehicle with a four-metre diameter ogive shaped payload fairing (which houses the satellite) to accommodate a larger spacecraft.
Though India already has a number of earth observation satellites, these generally operate from low earth orbits covering a relatively smaller region at a given time.
Since sectors like meterology and disaster management require imaging large areas of earth and atmosphere very frequently, GISAT-1 was planned to be put in the geostationary orbit for seamless observation of land, ocean and atmospheric parameters at a relatively higher resolution.
According to the space agency, GISAT-1 will facilitate near real-time observation of the Indian sub-continent, under cloud-free condition, at frequent intervals.
The previous launch by ISRO in 2020 was telecommunication satellite GSAT-30 was from French Guiana by Ariane-5VA-251 rocket in January.
In December 2019, ISRO launched the RISAT-2BR, an enhanced vision of a radar imaging satellite RISAT-2B.
The postponed launch would have been the 14th flight of GSLV, eighth mission equipped with indigeneous cryogenic upperstage and 76th launch vehicle mission from Sriharikota.