The NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission is poised for launch in the first quarter of 2024 following rigorous tests, primarily focusing on vibration.
The launch, as reported by Moneycontrol, expected not earlier than January next year, will take place from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota aboard the Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark-II.
NISAR, with a three-year duration, aims to survey Earth's land and ice-covered surfaces every 12 days, starting after a 90-day satellite commissioning period.
Key tests, including vibration testing, are currently underway. The project, a joint effort between ISRO and NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), will provide crucial data on Earth's ecosystems, ice mass, vegetation biomass, sea level rise, and natural hazards.
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Director Dr Laurie Leshin emphasised the project's significance, stating it surpasses previous missions' capabilities.
NISAR's Synthetic Aperture Radar Instrument will capture spatially and temporally consistent data, enabling the understanding of long-term changes in Earth's dynamics.
The mission's goal includes studying carbon storage, ice sheet response to climate change, sea ice interaction, and global impacts on sea level rise.
The spacecraft, weighing roughly 2,800 kg, is equipped with two solar arrays generating four kilowatts of power.
With sufficient fuel for at least five years of operations, NISAR represents a pioneering step in Earth observation technology, capable of detecting even minor changes from space.
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