India will send a new Earth observation satellite to space tonight (Aug. 11) to keep an eye on natural disasters, agriculture and forestry regions. The India Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is scheduled to launch a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) carrying the the EOS-03 satellite from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in eastern India, near the Bay of Bengal, at 8:43 p.m. EDT (0043 GMT or 5:43 a.m. local time Friday, Aug. 12.)
The GSLV rocket is expected to place the satellite into a preliminary transfer orbit, and EOS-03 is expected to boost itself to geosynchronous orbit in the following days.
ISRO officials describe EOS-03 as a "state-of-the-art" Earth observation satellite with three main objectives: near real-time imaging with frequent revisits to the same region, monitoring natural disasters and other short-term events, and picking up spectral signatures for agriculture and forestry to monitor items like crop health.