Pakistan has raised objections over India’s satellite launch scheduled for tomorrow. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is scheduled to launch 31 satellites on 12 January from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota and began the 28-hour countdown today at 5:29 AM.
During his weekly briefing, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal warned India of using satellites for military purposes as it could destabilize balance of power in the region.
“All space technologies, including earth observation satellites, are inherently dual use and can be employed for both civilian and military purposes and therefore it is essential that such pursuits are not directed towards a build-up of destabilizing military capabilities, which can negatively impact the regional strategic stability,” a release from Pakistan’s Foreign Office said.
There are only three Indian satellites among the 31 satellites that ISRO is launching tomorrow at 9:29 AM, under its first mission in 2018, PSLV-C40/Cartosat-2 Series Satellite Mission. 28 other satellites are from six other nations, i.e., Canada, Finland, France, Republic of Korea, UK and USA.
The three Indian satellites include the 710 kg Cartosat-2 Series Satellite for earth observation, a micro satellite in 100 kg class, Microsat, and a 5 kg nano satellite, Indian Nano Satellite IC. Both, micro and nano satellites, have been built as co-passenger payloads.
The Cartosat-2 satellite being launched this time is seventh in the series of remote sensing satellites and data obtained from it will be used in services like cartographic applications, Geographical Information System (GIS) applications, Land Information System (LIS) applications, coastal land-use regulation, utility management like road network monitoring, water distribution, creation of land use maps and change detection to bring out geographical and manmade features.
Tomorrow’s launch event is the 42nd flight of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, India’s main space launch vehicle. ISRO defines PSLV as its reliable and versatile workhorse, that, apart from carrying out 39 consecutively successful missions so far, has also launched successfully the Chandrayaan-1 in 2008 and the Mars Orbiter Spacecraft in 2013. In 2017 alone, ISRO placed over 130 satellites into orbit.
The PSLV’s first failure came last year, during 39th mission on August 31, when it failed to deliver India’s eight navigation satellite, the IRNSS-1H, as the heat shield tip which houses the satellite did not open.