INDIA: On Thursday, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said that the RISAT-2 satellite made an uncontrolled re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere on 30th October. The satellite weighs around 300 kilograms.
The satellite was launched in 2009 by Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)-C12. The Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT) was in space for over thirteen years and was defunct before its re-entry.
ISRO monitored the satellite’s re-entry with the Multi-Object Tracking Radar (MTOR). The satellite came down in the Indian Ocean, near Jakarta.
RISAT-2 had a design life span of four years and had 30kgs of fuel onboard. The studies by ISRO confirmed that the fragments of the satellite produced due to the friction of the atmosphere would not have survived the heat generated during re-entry, and as a result, no fragments would have made it to the surface of the Earth.
ISRO emphasized that RISAT-2 re-entered within 13.5 years and added that it complied with all crucial international mitigation guidelines regarding space debris. The re-entry showed the commitment of ISRO towards the sustainability of Outer Space. The agency had predicted that the satellite would impact the Indian Ocean near Jakarta on 30th October 2022, at 00:06 UTC.
The data obtained from RISAT-2 were helpful in various space applications. According to ISRO, the four-year life span of the satellite was extended to thirteen years by proper maintenance of its orbit and planning of its mission by the operations team concerned with the satellite.
The satellite had exhausted its fuel. Hence there was no distress regarding the risk of contamination or explosion on re-entry.
The Indian System for Safe and Sustainable Space Operations Management (IS4OM) facility in ISRO Telemetry, Tracking, and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru has been monitoring the re-entry of RISAT-2 since last month.
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