New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In a major leap in the commercial space sector, the Indian space agency ISRO will Saturday launch India's earth observation and nine customer satellites on November 7. Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C49) is scheduled to lift off at 3.02 pm on November 7 from Sriharikota and the 26-hour countdown for the launch already began on Friday afternoon.

If the launch is successful, ISRO's foreign satellite count will reach 328 foreign satellites. All of these launches were carried out by ISRO for a fee. According to news agency IANS, the primary payload of the PSLV-C49 is India's radar imaging satellite EOS-01.

The EOS-01 is the advanced version of RISAT-2BR2 with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) that can take pictures in all weather conditions. The satellite will also be able to take pictures at night, making it useful for both surveillance, as well as civilian activities.

The nine foreign satellites are from US (4-Lemur multi-mission remote sensing satellites), Luxembourg (4 maritime application satellites by Kleos Space) and Lithuania (1-technology demonstrator).

328: India's big space leap

With this, India would achieve a total of 328 foreign satellite launches since 1999, when the Indian space agency launched foreign satellites - South Korean Kitsat-3 and Germany's DLR-Tubsat. These satellites were launched as piggyback luggage on India's Oceansat with the PSLV-C2 rocket.

Since then, India has come a long way with 319 foreign satellite launches - mostly as piggyback on the country's own satellites. The last two decades has been glorious for the ISRO as it created a world record by launching 104 satellites in a single PSLV rocket on February 15, 2017.

India has launched 319 foreign satellites, including one Chinese satellite -- some on a standalone basis and mostly as a piggyback on India's own satellite. As per the government Data, ISRO has earned over Rs 1,200 crore from foreign satellite launches in the last five years.

Posted By: Shashikant Sharma