Another successful liftoff from ISRO, launches Earth Imaging CARTOSAT-3 Satellite and 13 Nano-Satellites for the US

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The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully launched its Earth mapping and imaging Satellite ‘CARTOSAT-3’ with is the 9th in the series. Additionally ISRO also sent US’s 13 Nano-Satellites in the same launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

ISRO launched the satellites from the second launch pad of the Sriharikota’s spaceport at 9:28 am IST (Indian Standard Time) this morning. The reasons why ISRO launches the satellites from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh are:

  • As there is not much around this launchport, in an event where things go wrong, a self-destruct is given to the rocket and the debris will fall into the sea instead of landmass, hence minimising the loss.
  • Sriharikota is closer to Equator, and the land at Earth’s Equator moves at the speed of almost 1,700 kms/hour, and the land between the equator and the pole moves at the speed of around 1,200 kms/hour, hence launching from a place closer to equator helps ISRO in saving fuel. There are other places from where ISRO can launch the satellites but the next point will tell you why Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh is the optimal choice.
  • Sriharikota is firm enough to stand the massive vibrations that come through from the launch. Over the years ISRO conducted numerous test across different launch sites and found that Sriharikota is the best location. Additionally it is said that it is world’s second best location to launch space missions after Kennedy Space Centre in the US.

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After the launch Dr. K Sivan, Chairman ISRO said ‘I am happy that PSLV-C47 injected precisely in the orbit with 13 other satellites. Cartosat-3 is highest resolution civilian satellite’. He added that ISRO have more missions planned in the next 4 months, ‘we have 13 missions up to March, 6 large vehicle missions and 7 satellite missions’.

Yesterday ISRO tweeted that the 16 hour countdown has begun for the launch of the satellites, the tweet said ‘#ISRO #PSLV #Cartosat3 PSLV-C47 standing tall at the launch pad in Sriharikota. Less than 16 hours for launch. Stay tuned …’.

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ISRO timely updated about the preparations via Twitter for the launch of the 14 satellites (CASTOSAT-13 and 13 US nano-satellites).

Yesterday morning IRSO Tweeted that the launch is scheduled at 0928 hours IST from the SDSC SHAR Launchpad in Sriharikota.

PSLC-C47 undertook its 49th mission as it carried CARTOSAT-3 and 13 of US’s nano-satellites. CARTOSAT-3 is the 3rd generation advanced agile satellite that is capable of taking images in high resolutions.

According to ISRO, CASTOSAT-2 will aid in addressing the ballooned user demands for large scale urban planning, infrastructure development, rural resources, and costal land cover and use. PSLC-C47 is the 27th launch vehicles in PSLV’s ‘XL’ configuration. CARTOSAT-3 has an overall mass of over 1,600 kilograms.

According to the ISRO’s latest tweet CARTOSAT-3 has successfully entered the orbit.

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The 13 nono-satellites of the United States have also been placed in their designated spots in the Orbit says ISRO by a tweet.

The nono-satellites were launched as a part of US’s commercial agreement with the NSIL (New Space India Limited), Department of Space. Out of the 13 nano-satellites, 12 satellites will observe Earth and are called FLOCK-4P. The 13th satellite’s objective is to test the communications and is named MESHBED.

CARTOSAT-3 is expected to last for 5 years. The last mission ISRO took was the Chandrayaan-2 in which the Orbiter continues to revolve around the moon, the rover ‘Pragyan’, and the lander ‘Vikram’ had a hard landing on the Mon’s surface which incapacitated them of carrying out their tasks.

ISRO plans to make another attempt with Chandrayaan-3 in late 2020s.

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