India’s premier space agency ISRO successfully conducted the launch of a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle in the wee hours of Monday, sending three satellites into orbit. This was ISRO’s first launch of the year, and also marked a new era under its new chairman, S. Somanath.

Called the PSLV C-52, the 54th flight of the PSLV went ahead without a glitch. A Twitter post captured the exact moment of the incident.

 

 

The launch was conducted at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, at 5.59 am on February 14th. Onboard was the Earth Observation Satellite (EOS-04), which is a radar imaging satellite, capable of providing high-quality images in all weather conditions. 

With a mission life of 10 years, it will collect earth observation data which will help in applications in agriculture, flood mapping, forestry, soil moisture measurement and more. Along with the EOS-04, there were two other passengers on board: the INS-2TD and the INSPIREsat-1.

EOS-04

 

While the former is a part of India’s space collaboration with Bhutan [INS 2-B], which will help in assessing land and water surface temperature, along with delineation of crops and forest and thermal inertia (day and night). 

The latter is a student satellite developed by the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology in association with the University of Colorado, USA. Its primary aim is to study the ionosphere dynamics and the sun’s coronal heating processes.

 

 

Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated ISRO: “Congratulations to our space scientists on the successful launch of PSLV-C52 mission. EOS-04 satellite will provide high-resolution images under all weather conditions for agriculture, forestry and plantations, soil moisture and hydrology as well as flood mapping.”

 

Here’s how the Internet reacted to this amazing feat: