The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch two foreign observation satellites weighing nearly 889 kg into a 583 km Sun Synchronous Orbit from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 9.30 pm today. The two satellites – NovaSAR and S1-4 – will be used for forest mapping and flood and disaster monitoring among other uses.

ISRO began the countdown on Saturday at 01:08 pm (IST) for the launch of PSLV-C42 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre. The scheduled launch is at 10:08 pm (IST) today, ISRO said.

The NovaSAR with S-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and automatic identification receiver will be used in forest mapping, land use and ice cover monitoring, flood and disaster monitoring, ship detection and maritime monitoring while the S1-4 is a high-resolution optical earth observation satellite which is intended to survey resources, environment monitoring, urban management and disaster monitoring.

Currently, India is seeking a larger share of the more than $300 billion global space industry as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to project it as a global low-cost provider of services in space.

According to ISRO Chairperson Kailasavadivoo Sivan, the space agency has lined up 19 missions till March 2019.

Union MoS for PMO Jitendra Singh had earlier said that ISRO is on the verge of launching first Indian into space. Meanwhile, the ISRO has displayed its crew escape module at the Space Expo India show in Bangalore.

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