The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is geared up to blast off the Earth Observation Satellite (EOS) from the Second Launch Pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota on 12th August 2021 at 5:43 am. With the second launch of the Bengaluru-headquartered space agency, the country’s space activities will resume after a gap of four months due to the unprecedented second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The satellite will be launched onboard the 14th flight of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F10). The GSLV will carry the state-of-the-art agile Earth Observation Satellite (EOS) and will place the satellite in a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit. ISRO, on their official website, has mentioned that the satellite will reach the final geostationary orbit using its onboard propulsion system.
According to the space agency, the satellite will be carried in a 4 metre diameter-Ogive shaped payload fairing which is being flown for the first time in this GSLV flight. 13 other flights deploying satellite and partner missions into space have been conducted so far.
The 2,268-kg GISAT-1 which was scheduled to launch in March 2020, but was postponed due to the pandemic, is aimed to provide near real-time imaging of large area regions of interest at frequent intervals. It is a known fact that humanity’s exposure to natural hazards is increasing more than ever. The Geo-Imaging Earth Observation Satellite (EOS-03) will enable near real-time monitoring of natural disasters that have become common in the Indian subcontinent due to subsequent environmental and weather changes. According to ISRO, EOS-03 will image India four to five times daily in order to send key information related to weather and dynamic environmental changes. The primary objective of the satellite is to obtain spectral signatures for mineralogy, disaster warning, cloud properties, snow & glaciers and oceanography.
Apart from tracking and monitoring the natural disasters, EOS-03 will also provide agricultural monitoring and characterisation, track soil moisture, coastal processes, coastal winds, water bodies, crop vegetation conditions, forest cover changes among others that are crucial for India.
More than 1000 Active satellites observing the Earth
They are out there, in space, providing crucial and fascinating information about many aspects of our daily life including communication, weather observation, defence, agriculture and more. It should not come as a surprise, but as a matter of fact, there are more than 1,000 active satellites that are orbiting around the Earth. From monitoring the activity of the sun to providing information of the events that affect us, satellites have a crucial role in gathering large-scale, ongoing information that is vital to our understanding of a wide range of Earth systems.
Meteorological (or weather) satellites have been in use for over 50 years. Some of the major countries that operate Earth Observation Satellites to attain a wealth of information on weather, climate and environmental change include Canada, China, India, Japan, Russia, the Republic of Korea and the United States of America (U.S.), Europe.