In its fourth mission this year, India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) successfully launched a 727.5kg Cartosat-2 series satellite along with 19 smaller co-passenger satellites on 22nd June from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota. The launch marked the thirty-fifth consecutive successful mission of PSLV and the fourteenth in its 'XL' configuration. The total weight of all the 20 satellites was 1,288kg.
Lift-off occurred at 09:26 IST from the Second Launch Pad. After a flight of 16 minutes 30 seconds, the satellites achieved a polar Sun Synchronous Orbit of 508km inclined at an angle of 97.5° to the equator (very close to the intended orbit) and in the following 10 minutes, all 20 satellites successfully separated from the PSLV fourth stage in a predetermined sequence.
After separation, the two solar arrays of the Cartosat-2 satellite were deployed automatically and ISRO's Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) at Bangalore took over the control of the satellite. In the coming days, the satellite will be brought to its final operational configuration following which it will begin to provide remote sensing services using its panchromatic (black and white) and multispectral (colour) cameras.
According to the India's ISRO space agency, the imagery sent by the Cartosat-2 will be useful for cartographic applications, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation, utility management like road network monitoring, water distribution, creation of land use maps, precision study, change detection to bring out geographical and man-made features and various other Land Information System (LIS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) applications.
Of the 19 co-passenger satellites carried by PSLV-C34, two – SATHYABAMASAT (1.5kg) and SWAYAM (1kg) – are University/Academic institute satellites and were built with the involvement of students from Sathyabama University, Chennai and College of Engineering, Pune, respectively.
The remaining 17 satellites were international customer satellites from the United States (13), Canada (2), Germany (1) and Indonesia (1).
The total number of satellites launched by PSLV now stands at 113, including 39 Indian platforms.