SpaceX to launch India's maiden spy satellite, expanding surveillance capabilities

Web Desk
February 20, 2024

Satellite to play a pivotal role in monitoring the "Line of Actual Control" along the Chinese border

A SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket carrying a South Korean spy satellite takes off from Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif., on December 1 —SpaceX

India is gearing up to launch its first domestically developed spy satellite via a SpaceX launch vehicle in April this year, Interesting Engineering reported.

The satellite, crafted by TATA Advanced Systems (TAS) Limited, the defence wing of the TATA Group, will bolster India's radar imaging satellite (RISAT) fleet, elevating the count from 12 to 16, according to the Economic Times.

With operations based in Bengaluru, Karnataka, the TAS-built satellite will monitor infrastructure, acquire military targets, and enhance India's operational confidentiality.

Notably, it is anticipated to play a pivotal role in monitoring the "Line of Actual Control" along the Chinese border, boasting an impressive ground resolution of approximately 1.64 feet (0.5 meters).

The collaboration between TAS and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), allowing a private sector company to partake extensively in the satellite build program for the first time, signifies a groundbreaking move.

This partnership not only opens avenues for TAS to expand its satellite production for both domestic and global markets but also grants the company opportunities to delve into adjacent applications in space technology under ISRO's licence.

Despite possessing sub-meter resolution satellites, India had traditionally relied on foreign intelligence sources for data. The completion of the satellite's construction at the TASL plant in Bengaluru marks a significant milestone.

TASL, capable of producing 25 satellites annually, has inked agreements with the Karnataka government for further investments in the aerospace and defence sectors.

In parallel, a ground control centre is being established in Bengaluru, in collaboration with Satellogic, a Latin-American company, to guide and process imagery transmitted by the satellite. TASL's satellite imagery, reportedly, can be shared with friendly nations, fostering international collaboration.

This development signifies a notable stride for India in satellite technology, complemented by recent launches, including the meteorological satellite INSAT-3DS and the X-ray space observatory, Polarimeter Satellite (XpoSat).


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