India’s Spy Sat Launch

Nice PSLV launch the other day. The report, via PTI:

Giving the much needed fillip to its defence surveillance capabilities, India today successfully placed into orbit an Israeli-built all-weather spy satellite but not before some "anxious moments" prior to the launch caused by a technical glitch which had threatened to stall the mission.

The 300 kg RISAT-2, which will also help tackle infiltration and terror activities, was shot into space by ISRO’s workhorse PSLV-C12 rocket 19 minutes after it blasted off from the spaceport here as scheduled at 6.45 AM, making India the fifth country having such a satellite.

But the launch was preceded by "anxious moments" during the 48-hour countdown for the ISRO team after an umbilical connector from PSLV-C12’s top got detached from the launch vehicle and about half-a-dozen others were "thrown out".

The last minute snag was overcome with the ISRO team managing the crisis making up the six hours of countdown time and setting everything right.

"With that condition, we could not not have gone on with the launch," ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair later said. "The final moments of the launch were more thrilling than a cricket match as we hit a few boundaries and bowled some googlies." The PSLV-C12, on its 15th mission, also launched RISAT-2’s co-passenger micro-educational satellite ANUSAT into orbit. A jubilant Nair described the RISAT-2 as a "new year gift" which would be an "asset" to the country as it worked in a mircowave band that would enable it to see through clouds and during night. 

Here’s the video report: