ISRO Launches Earth Observation Satellite CARTOSAT-3 And 13 Nano-Satellites

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched the heavy-lift rocket PSLV-C47 that will carry CARTOSAT-3 along with 13 other commercial nano-satellites. One will be sent from India and 13 from the US - blasted off from Satish Dhawan Space Center in Andhra Pradesh this morning.

The CARTOSAT-3 satellite is ninth in the series and is an agile satellite that can take high-resolution photos of the Earth.  It was placed into orbit 509 km from the Earth, the ISRO said. The mission life of Cartosat-3 is five years. It launched from the second launch pad at the spaceport of Sriharikota, about 120 km from Chennai on November 27 at 09:28 am.

"Launch is scheduled at 0928 hrs IST on November 27, 2019," ISRO said in its update on Tuesday.

The CARTOSAT-3 aims to address the increased users’ demands for large-scale urban planning, rural resource, and infrastructure development, and coastal land use. As a part of the commercial arrangement with New Space India Limited (NSIL), Department of Space, 13 other commercial nano-satellites from the US are also being carried.

On Wednesday, ISRO said that the launch would be the 74th launch vehicle mission from Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. CARTOSAT-3 has been sent for five years.

All the 14 launched commercial nano-satellites follows  ISRO's moon mission Chandrayaan-2 on July 22 which failed to make a soft landing on the South Pole of the moon.

The Chairman of ISRO, K Sivan was present inside the control room and watched the flight of the rocket. "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," Mr Sivan said.

"Cartosat-3 is India's highest resolution civilian satellite, and the most complex and advanced earth observation satellite ISRO has built so far," he told while interacting with reporters.

Congratulating the team behind the satellite, he said "Our hands are full," with 13 missions scheduled till March 2020.  "They combine some six launch vehicle missions and seven satellite missions," he added.