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India's space agency successfully launched a new Earth-observation satellite today (May 21), boosting the nation's space-based surveillance capabilities.
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) used a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle designated PSLV-C46 to launch its third radar imaging satellite, named 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.
Aperture - Radar - RISAT-2B - Clouds - Earth
Equipped 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 purposes like agriculture and disaster relief management, ISRO officials said in a description of the mission. But it will also be used for surveillance purposes.
India's RISAT-2B satellite is pictured above the Earth a few seconds after separating from the fourth stage of the PSLV-C46 rocket.
Times - India - RISAT-2B - India - Borders
According to The Times of India, RISAT-2B will watch over India's borders and the country's surrounding waters to monitor for foreign threats. For example, it will be able to provide views of jihadi terror camps in the Kashmir region, which has long been the subject of a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan. "The RISAT satellite can take images of a building or an object on the earth at least two to three times a day," an ISRO official told The Times of India.
RISAT-2B will provide detailed images of Earth's surface with a resolution of about 3.3 feet (1 meter) as it orbits the Earth...
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