The 28-hour countdown for the launch of the Cartosat-2 series satellite along with 30 co-passenger satellites from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh began at 5.29 AM on Thursday. Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its 40th flight (PSLV-C38), would launch the 712 kg Cartosat-2 series satellite for earth observation and 30 co-passenger satellites together weighing about 243 kg at lift-off into a 505 km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO) at 09.20 hours tomorrow, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said.
The total weight of all these satellites carried onboard PSLV-C38 is about 955 kg. The co-passenger satellites, comprise 29 Nano satellites from 14 countries – Austria, Belgium, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America besides a Nano satellite from India.
PSLV-C38 will be launched from the First Launch Pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre. This will be the 40th flight of PSLV and 17th flight of PSLV in ‘XL’ configuration (with the use of solid strap-on motors). The space agency said the 29 international customer Nano satellites are being launched as part of the commercial arrangements between Antrix Corporation Limited (Antrix), commercial arm of ISRO and international customers.
Cartosat-2 is a remote sensing satellite and it is similar in configuration to earlier satellites in the series with the objective of providing high-resolution scene-specific spot imagery. ISRO Chairman AS Kiran Kumar told reporters at Chennai airport that all the activities for the launch were going on. He expressed happiness on the “Mangalyan” mission completing 1,000 days on June 19 and said it had been performing very well.