ISRO launches CARTOSAT 3, US satellites into space

Source: The Economic Times, Nov 27, 2019

SRIHARIKOTA, ANDHRA PRADESH: ISRO has successfully launched its third-generation earth-imaging satellite into space from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

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.

Besides the CARTOSAT 3 satellite, the PSLV C-47 rocket carried 13 nano satellites from the US, roped in through the new commercial arm New Space India.

“This would have the most advanced spatial resolution capability in our observation satellites,” an official associated with the launch had told ET earlier.

The Cartosat 3 follows similar launches in an earlier series deployed 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 these satellites were five years.

According to the ISRO 2018-19 annual report, the CARTOSAT 3 is a 3-axis agile satellite with a spatial resolution parameter of 0.25 m, an advancement from the previous series, which had the parameter at less than 1 m.
The launch, originally slated for Monday, was put off by two days.

Among the American satellites aboard is a technical demonstration spacecraft from US-based company Analytical Space Inc, which enables users to fain faster access to satellite data. American satellite rideshare coordinator SpaceFlight, which facilitated the payload purchase for Analytical Space, had said last month it would complete 100 spacecraft launches on ISRO vehicles by end of 2019. ISRO’s forthcoming launches in December have more satellites coordinated by SpaceFlight.

While the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle has attracted deals with foreign firms to accommodate satellites from countries such as France, Canada, and the US through its first commercial arm Antrix, the commercial satellites aboard the PSLV C-47 have arrived through agreements through the second commercial entity New Space India, set up in March this year.

Through Antrix, ISRO has completed 239 deals over the last three years and earned operational revenue over Rs 6,280 crore, according to a release.

The Cartosat 3 is the most advanced earth observation satellite built by ISRO, Chairman K Sivan said in a post-launch speech on Wednesday.

Sivan said the space agency has 13 missions, six launch vehicle events and seven satellite missions, slated till March next year. “Our hands are full,” a smiling Sivan said, in his post-launch speech.

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