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Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:35AM
Risat-1 with one of its solar panel wings is seen at the Satish Dhawan Space Center. (File photo)

Risat-1 with one of its solar panel wings is seen at the Satish Dhawan Space Center. (File photo)

India says it has successfully positioned its first domestically-built radar imaging satellite into orbit from a spaceport in the east coast of the country. The Risat-1 satellite, aboard a 321-ton launch rocket, took off at 5:47 am (0027 GMT) Thursday from the spaceport of Sriharikota in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, Indian news agency IANS reported. According to reports, the satellite is capable of providing crop information, helping predict disasters and contributing to defense objectives. "Risat-1 weighs 1858 kg. The satellite's propulsion system will then be used to take it to the final orbit at an altitude of 536 km," said S. Satish, the spokesman of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). "With Risat-1 we can now forecast Kharif season," said K Radhakrishnan, ISRO chairman. Kharif crop refers to the planting, cultivation and harvesting of any domesticated plant sown in the rainy (monsoon) season on the Asian subcontinent. In April, India also launched an Israeli-built radar imaging satellite, the Risat-2, into space for what it reported as security requirements. DB/MFB/GHN