An advanced imaging and mapping satellite CARTOSAT-3 along with 13 commercial nano satellites from the US was successfully launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Wednesday.
The 44.4-metre tall PSLV C47 rocket lifted off majestically at 9.28 am from the second launch pad at the spaceport in Sriharikota. It was placed into orbit 17 minutes and 46 seconds after lift-off, the immediate mission after Chandrayaan 2, where the lander crashed while making a soft descent on the lunar surface on September 7.
— ANI (@ANI) November 27, 2019
ISRO said all the 13 nano satellites from the US were released into the orbit at 26 minutes and 56 seconds after liftoff.
“I am extremely happy to declare that PSLV-C47 precisely injected CARTOSAT-3 and 13 customer satellites successfully in the desired orbit of 509 km,” ISRO Chairman K Sivan spoke from the Mission Control Centre.
Calling it as India’s “most complex and advanced” observation satellite, he said CARTOSAT-3 is nation’s highest resolution civilian satellite ISRO has built so far.
When asked about future missions, the ISRO chief said, “Our hands are full,” with 13 missions slated up to March 2020.
“They combine some six launch vehicle missions and seven satellite missions,” he said.
The CARTOSAT-3, weighing 1,625 kg, would address increased user’s demands for large-scale urban planning, rural resource and infrastructure development, coastal land use and land cover. It will also serve military purposes.
As the CARTOSAT-3 successfully injected into the Earth’s orbit, Sivan congratulated the teams behind the satellite and the launch vehicle. He also lauded the efforts of the various review teams and industry partners involved in the mission. Team ISRO will rise to the occasion and meet challenges and make every mission a grand success, he said.
Congratulating the ISRO team on their successful mission to launch the CARTOSAT-3 and over a dozen nano satellites of USA, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: “The advanced Cartosat-3 will augment our high resolution imaging capability. ISRO has once again made the nation proud.”
PSLV-C47 is the 21st flight of PSLV in ‘XL’ configuration (with 6 solid strap-on motors).
Among the 13 commercial nanosatellites are FLOCK-4P, 12 in numbers, with mission objective of earth observation, and one satellite named MESHBED, whose objective is communication test bed.
ISRO has said this would be the 74th launch vehicle mission from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. The PSLV is in its 49th mission while PSLV-XL variant on its 21st mission.
CASRTOSAT-3 is the ninth in the Cartosat series and today’s launch is the fifth for ISRO in 2019.