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Cartosat-3 slated for November 25 launch with 13 U.S. nanosatellites

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ISRO returns to launching operational satellites after a hiatus of six months

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) returns to launching its operational satellites this month after a hiatus of six months.

Cartosat-3, an advanced earth imaging and mapping satellite, will be flown on November 25 on the PSLV-C47 vehicle, subject to weather conditions, the space agency announced on Monday.

The 1,560 kg satellite will have 13 small U.S. customer satellites riding as secondary passengers. They will be placed in a polar orbit.

Although ISRO sent up Chandrayaan 2, the lunar orbiter probe, in July, its previous functional satellite was RISAT-2B, launched in May.

Cartosat-3, with an ISRO-best resolution of 25 cm, will be the first of a series of high resolution, third generation satellites planned for observing the Earth. The satellite will be able to pick up objects of that size (25 cm) from its orbital perch about 509 km away. This will make Cartosat-3 among the few sharpest civil earth imagers worldwide.

Previously, the Cartosat-2 second generation series offered the best resolution of 65 cm from ISRO. The agency entered the sub-metre (80 cm) resolution club in 2007 with Cartosat-2, the best civil imagery resolution of that time.

Much of such high resolution imageries are used exclusively by the Armed Forces.

“PSLV-C47 will launch Cartosat-3 and 13 commercial nanosatellites into a sun synchronous orbit from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. The launch is tentatively scheduled at 9.28 a.m. IST on November 25, subject to weather conditions,” ISRO said.

Recently, Planet Labs, a U.S.-based earth imaging company, said 12 of its SuperDove/Flock 4p constellation of cubesats would be flown with Cartosat-3.

For this mission, the PSLV is being flown in its XL, or extended version, with six added or strapped on booster rockets.

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 2:13:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/cartosat-3-slated-for-nov-25-launch-with-13-us-nanosatellites/article30007732.ece

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