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ISRO to put Israeli satellite in orbit
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THE INDIAN Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to put an Israeli satellite 'RISAT' by its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), in orbit, in the first week of April.

The launch would take place from the spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The vehicle, PSLV-C12, would also deploy a mini-satellite called ‘Anusat’, built by the scientists of Anna University, Chennai.

RISAT, a radar-imaging satellite, which has already reached Sriharikota from Israel, is used for remote-sensing and can take pictures of the earth for 24 hours of the day amid rain and cloud.

Anusat, an amateur communications satellite, which weighs 38 kg, was integrated at the Madras Institute of Technology (MIT), Anna University, Chennai. Anusat is presently undergoing tests at the ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore and will reach Sriharikota within a few days. The integration of Anusat assisted the students to obtain a hands-on experience in understanding the complexities in building a satellite. With this, ISRO will be putting in orbit a satellite from Israel for the second time.

India can use the radar images from the Israeli RISAT because the integration of India’s own RISAT had been delayed. The Indian version of RISAT would be launched later in 2009 or in 2010.

The PSLV that would place RISAT and Anusat in orbit in Apr '09 from Sriharikota’s second launch pad is a core-alone version. It is without the six strap-on booster motors that is a part of the standard PSLV. While a normal PSLV weighs 295 tonnes, the core-alone vehicle weighs 230 tonnes. The PSLV is also 44 metres tall.

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