The Indian Space Research Organization, widely known as ISRO, has today completed another successful flight, further showing off its growing prowess in launching multiple satellites in a single flight. The space agency has today managed to successfully launch its second Earth observation Cartosat-2 series satellite, along with 30 co-passenger satellites.
The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C38) took off from the First Launch Pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. This successful launch has helped ISRO achieve another massive milestone, adding another feather to their recent flattering launch cycle. This was the 40th PSLV flight for the space agency and third successful one in the past couple months. ISRO had just placed 104 satellites into orbit, followed by the launch of its heaviest GSLV Mark-III rocket earlier this month.
As for Cartosat-2 series satellite, it is a remote sensing satellite that has been launched into Earth’s orbit with the sole objective of capturing high-resolution scene-specific spot imagery. The configuration of this satellite is very much similar to its predecessor in the series because it comes with a resolution of 0.6 meters, which can spot even smaller objects within a square of 0.6 m by 0.6 m.
Often referred as the eye in the sky, this new Cartosat satellite will provide a sharper and wider look of the Earth’s surface, thus, making it easier to spot surface changes. Once it becomes operational, the control of the Cartosat-2 satellite will be handed over to the country’s defence forces.
They have their own on-ground infrastructure and trained personnel to access required data from the satellite — which was helpful in carrying out surgical strikes on seven terror launch pads across the Line of Control last year, states ISRO. It will, however, serve several other purposes such as — cartographic applications, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation, as well as utility management.
In addition to the Cartosat-2, today’s PSLV launch has also helped place thirty co-passenger nanosatellites into Earth’s orbit. These comprise satellites from over 14 countries namely, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, United Kingdom and the USA, as well as one from India.
The total weight of the complete bunch of satellites, including the Cartosat-2, carried aboard the PSLV-C38 amounts to a massive 955 kilograms. The Cartosat-2 satellite weighs 712 kilograms, while the other 29 nanosatellites amount to a total of 243 kilograms.
And much like every other satellite launch, our honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to congratulate ISRO for a successful launch and the completion of 40 PSLV flights. This further enables the space agency to make its mark in the industry,
Congratulations to ISRO on its 40th successful Polar satellite launch carrying 31 satellites from 15 countries. You make us proud!
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 23, 2017