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India launches Israeli satellite 'Polaris'

Last updated on: January 21, 2008 15:06 IST

India on Monday launched an Israeli satellite 'Polaris' from the spaceport at Sriharikota by a homegrown Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle and successfully placed it in the intended orbit.

The PSLV-C10 lifted off from the First Launch Pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at 9.15 am with the ignition of the first stage, ISRO said in a statement.

The 300 kg TECSAR satellite, equipped with a Synthetic Aperture Radar payload, a capability to see through the clouds and carry out day and night all weather imaging, was

placed in its intended orbit with a Perigee (nearest point to earth) of 450 km and Apogee (farthest point fromearth) of 580 km with an orbital inclination of 41 degree with respect to the equator.

TECSAR was placed in orbit 1,185 seconds after lift off.

The launch of the satellite was executed under a commercial contract between Israel Aerospace Industries and Antrix Corporation, the release said.

TECSAR is a SAR technology satellite, the design, development and fabrication of which were led by MBT Space, a division of the Israeli Aerospace  industries with the participation of other high-tech industries such as ELTA, Tadiran, Spectralink and Rafael.

This is the second time that a 'core alone' PSLV configuration had put a foreign satellite into orbit. In April 2007, an Italian satellite Agile was put into orbit.

The launch of the radar-imaging, remote-sensing satellite, was shrouded in secrecy. The launch was originally scheduled for September 2007 though no date was specified.

A section of the media speculated that the launch was abandoned following pressure from some countries, a claim strongly denied by ISRO, which cited non-resolution of technical issues as the reason for the delay.

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