ISRO has successfully launched Vehicle-XL (PSLV-XL) rocket carrying advanced earth observation satellite Cartosat-3 and 13 US nanosatellites from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. The 44.4 meters tall and 320-ton rocket at about 9:28 am was launched from the second launch pad of the rocket port.
According to ISRO, the 1625 kg Cartosat-3 is an advanced active satellite to obtain panchromatic and multispectral imagery with an operational life of five years. The Indian space agency also said that Cartosat-3 has many new technologies/elements like highly agile structural platform, payload platform, higher rate data handling, and transmission systems, advanced onboard computer and new power electronics, dual gimbal antenna, and others.
“I am happy that PSLV-C47 injected precisely in the orbit with 13 other satellites. Cartosat-3 is the highest resolution civilian satellite. We have 13 missions up to March, 6 large vehicle missions and 7 satellite missions,” ISRO chief Dr. K Sivan said.
Cartosat-3 will orbit the earth at a 509km altitude 509km altitude with an inclination of 97.5 degrees. Moreover, It is the 21st flight of PSLV with an XL variant and the 74th mission from the Sriharikota spaceport.
According to ISRO, 12 of the US nanosatellites are named FLOCK-4P and are earth observation satellites and the 13th is called MESHBED which is a communication testbed satellite.
ISRO has not yet revealed the specifications of the imagers onboard the satellite but it is expected to have a spatial resolution of less than 30cm. The launch will reinforce India as a global launch destination for small satellites using its workhorse rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle.