ISRO launched its third-generation Earth-imaging satellite CARTOSAT-3 into space along with 13 nanosatellites of the United States. With this ISRO crosses the mark of launching 300 foreign satellites into space. The launch which was scheduled on Monday was laid off by two days and took place on Wednesday.
The launch will enhance India’s ability in high-resolution imaging and also reinforce India as a global launch destination for small satellites using its workhorse rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle.
– The launch was scheduled at 09.28 am on 27th November 2019.
– It was successfully carried out with the help of PSLV-C47 on its 49th mission from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
– The launch mission was 74th one to be carried out from the centre.
– As told by ISRO, PSLV-C47 is the 21st flight of PSLV in the ‘XL’ configuration (with six solid strap-on motors).
– It carried an overall mass of 1,625 kgs during the launch.
What is Cartosat-3?
As per the Annual Reports of ISRO for 2018-19, CARTOSAT 3 is a 3-axis agile satellite with a spatial resolution parameter of 0.25 m. ISRO has improvised over the prior series which had 1m parameter.
Cartosat 3 is a further addition to similar launches made earlier by ISRO for cartography (map-making applications), infrastructure planning, coastal land use and regulation, road network monitoring and more importantly, change detection in bringing out geographical and man-made features. The mission life of CARTOSAT-3 will be five years.
The 13 Nano Satellites
The 13 commercial nanosatellites from the United States which were launched with CARTOSAT-3 were part of a commercial agreement between US and NewSpace India Ltd. (NSIL), Department of Space. Of these 13 satellites, 12 satellites are FLOCK-4P, which are launched with the aim of earth-observation. Further, the one satellite that is named MESHBED is aimed for a communication testbed.
While the launch of CARTOSAT-3 will enhance India’s ability in high-resolution imaging, the launch of 13 nano US satellites, has reinforced India as a global launch destination for small satellites. The launch was made possible because of workhorse rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle.
An ISRO official told Economic Times, “This would have the most advanced spatial resolution capability in our observation satellites.”
ISRO is further planning to launch another satellite programme in December. The current satellite launch included a technical demonstration spacecraft from US-based Company Analytical Space Inc. The task of this craft is to facilitate faster access to satellite data.
As per the reports, the American satellite rideshare coordinator SpaceFlight, which facilitated the payload purchase for Analytical Space, had said last month that it would complete 100 spacecraft launches on ISRO vehicles by end of 2019. ISRO’s forthcoming launches in December which will have more satellites coordinated from US-based SpaceFlight.
ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle has gained deals from foreign agencies and organisation to carry satellites to space on behalf of countries including France, Canada, and the US through its first commercial arm Antrix. Antrix has helped ISRO in completing 239 deals over the past 3 years and helped in earning operational revenue of Rs. 6280 Crore.
Apart from this, the 13 satellites launched on PSLV-C47 were gained through India’s 2nd commercial entity ‘New Space India’ which was set-up in March 2019.
As said by ISRO Chairman K. Sivan, ISRO has 13 missions lined up ahead that include six launch vehicle events and seven satellite missions. These all are to be completed by March.
“Our hands are full,” said Sivan while smiling after launch success speech.