With the successful launch of the final Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) mission of 2022, India and Bhutan achieved a ‘historic milestone’, said External affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar on Saturday. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched PSLV-C54 rocket today.
The PSLV-C54/EOS-06 mission carried nine satellites, including the primary payload an earth observation satellite along with eight other co-passenger satellites. One of the passenger satellites that rode piggyback on the 44.4 metre tall rocket is India Bhutan Sat — ISRO Nano Satellite 2 for Bhutan (INS-2B).
Speaking through a televised address to the ISRO scientists at the Mission Control Centre, Jaishankar said India and Bhutan must harness space technology and its applications towards improving the lives of the people.
New Era Of India-Bhutan Partnership
The Minister said the partnership between India and Bhutan has been taken to a new era in 21st century, through achievements in space and technology.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Bhutan in August 2019 had jointly inaugurated the ground earth station of the South Asia Satellite in Thimpu, which was constructed with the support of ISRO", he said.
India had launched a South Asia Satellite in 2017 as a gift to nations of South Asia region, including Bhutan and recognizing the positive impact SAS would have on the socio-economic development of Bhutan, Modi had offered increased bandwidth with additional transponders, he noted.
“Accordingly, the Indian side extended capacity building to Bhutan..," he said.
Referring to Saturday’s successful launch, Jaishankar said, “In a landmark initiative, the two sides have now jointly developed a customised small satellite for Bhutan the INS-2B".
“I understand the primary payload of this satellite which is an imagery, will help Bhutan in natural resources management and the secondary payload which is designed and built by Bhutan will function as a digital repeater from space serving the amateur radio users."
India Working With Bhutan To Establish Ground Station in Thimpu
Jaishankar also informed that the Indian space agency was working with Bhutan to establish a ground station in Thimpu for receiving the data from this satellite INS-2B, which would be commissioned “shortly."
“With rapid advancement in technology, we must as envisioned by the Majesty the King of Bhutan harness space technology and its applications for improving the lives of the people," he stressed.
Jaishankar congratulated scientists of India and Bhutan and termed it a “matter of great pride" for both the countries.
“I urge the team to keep up the good work even as we continue our collaboration in space technology," he said.
About PSLV-C54 Launch
ISRO’s PSLV on Saturday successfully placed earth observation satellite (Oceansat) into a sun-synchronous orbit. The 44.4 metre tall rocket lifted off at a prefixed time at 11.56 am from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at this spaceport at the end of a 25.30 hour countdown.
After reaching the intended orbit nearly 17 minutes after PSLV-C54 lifted off, the Earth Observation Satellite or the Oceansat successfully separated from the rocket.
The Earth Observation Satellite-6 is the third-generation satellite in the Oceansat series. This is to provide continuity services of Oceansat-2 spacecraft with enhanced payload specifications as well as application areas.
The mission objective is to ensure data continuity of ocean color and wind vector data to sustain the operational applications.
(With PTI inputs)
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