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ISRO, CNES ink pact on satellite launch

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and French Space agency (CNES) have signed a partnership agreement in satellite launch technology.

The agreement was signed between ISRO Chairman Kiran Kumar and CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall in the presence of visiting French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Marc Ayrault in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

Key Facts
  • Space cooperation is one of the cornerstones of the Indo-French strategic partnership and spans over 50 years. ISRO is the second partner of CNES, in terms of volume, after NASA.
  • This agreement will strengthen the CNES-ISRO partnership. It will enable France to benefit from the Indian model of streamlining the costs of space programmes.
  • Besides, agreement was also signed for equipping Axiom Research Lab’s lunar rover with two latest-generation CASPEX micro-cameras, developed by CNES in partnership with French firm 3DPlus.

Axiom Research Lab: It is leading Indian “NewSpace” start-up put forward TeamIndus, the only Indian team competing for the Google Lunar XPRIZE. CNES is providing cameras to Team Indus’ rover that will land on moon.

XPRIZE: It is a global competition organised by Google for engineers and entrepreneurs to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration. It will award $20 million to the first private company that successfully lands a module on the Moon, places a robot that explores at least 500 metres and transmits HD videos and images back to Earth.

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Union Cabinet approves MoU between ISRO and USGS

The Union Cabinet has approved MoU signed between ISRO and United States Geological Survey (USGS) for Cooperation in t exchange and use of US Land Remote Sensing Satellite Data.

This MoU signed in July 2016 will enable ISRO to receive USGS’s Landsat-7 and 8 in India. It will also allow USGS to receive ISRO’s Resourcesat-2 (AWiFS and LISS III) data of US region.

Background

ISRO is actively pursuing civilian space cooperation with many US organisations including National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), United States Geological Survey (USGS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for its interest. ISRO had received data from Landsat series of satellites operated by USGS during 1984 to 2001 through its ground station at Shadnagar. The data received from Landsat series of satellites was used by Indian scientists during the inception of Indian remote sensing programme. Recently in February 2013, USGS has launched Landsat -8 satellite. ISRO expressed interest in direct reception of Landsat-8 data in India, while USGS expressed interest in obtaining data from ISRO’s RESOURCESAT-2 satellite.

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Remote sensing satellite Resourcesat-2A successfully launched

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully launched remote sensing satellite Resourcesat-2A into its dedicated orbit.

It was launched onboard of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle  (PSLV)-C36 from first launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. It was PSLV’s 38th flight and XL version of the rocket was used. It was the 37th consecutive successful flight of the rocket.

About Resourcesat-2A

  • Resourcesat-2A is a follow on mission to its predecessor remote sensing satellites Resourcesat-1 and Resourcesat-2, launched in 2003 and 2011 respectively.
  • It is intended to continue the remote sensing data services to global users provided by it two predecessors.
  • Resourcesat-2A weighs 1,235 kg and is placed into an 817 km polar sun synchronous orbit (i.e. orbiting pole-to-pole). The mission life of Resourcesat-2A is five years.
  • It carries three payloads viz. high resolution Linear Imaging Self Scanner (LISS-4) camera, medium resolution LISS-3 camera, and coarse resolution Advanced Wide Field Sensor (AWiFS) camera. These three cameras of different resolution.
  • These cameras will give regular micro and macro information on land and water bodies below, forests, farm lands and crop extent, coastal information, mineral deposits, rural and urban spreads besides helping in disaster management.
  • It also carries two Solid State Recorders with a capacity of 200 Giga Bits. Each of it can store the images taken by its cameras which can be read out later to ground stations.

About PSLV

The PSLV rocket is a four stage/engine indigenous light-lifting rocket powered by solid and liquid fuel alternatively. It has emerged as the workhorse launch vehicle of ISRO offered for launching satellites for international customers. Between 1994 and 2016, the PSLV has launched a total of 121 satellites, of which 42 are Indian satellites and 79 satellites are from abroad. The PSLV-XL variant of the rocket is 44.4 metres tall and weighs 3201 tonnes.

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