India’s Cartosat-3 plus 13 nano satellites put in orbit

News: India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C47 has launched Cartosat-3 and 13 commercial Nano satellites into Sun Synchronous orbit from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota. The 13 nano satellites from USA were launched under a commercial arrangement with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL).


About Cartosat-3:

  • Cartosat-3 satellite is a third generation agile advanced earth imaging satellite.
  • It has been developed by Indian Space Research Organization. It will replace the Indian Remote Sensing Satellite (IRS) series
  • Cartosat-3 has a panchromatic resolution of 0.25 metres making it the imaging satellite with highest resolution.
  •  Cartosat-3 aims to address the increased demands for large scale urban planning, rural resource and infrastructure development, coastal land use and land cover
  • Other potential uses of the Cartosat-3 satellite include weather mapping, cartography or army defence, and strategic applications.
  • The mission life of CARTOSAT-3 would be for five years. 

Additional Information:

Sun synchronous Orbits: These are polar orbits are synchronous with the Sun. Thus, it passes over the same part of the earth at the same time of the day.  A satellite in a sun synchronous orbit are usually at an altitude of between 600 and 800 km.

Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV):

  • It is an indigenously-developed expendable launch system of the ISRO. It is the first Indian launch vehicle to be equipped with liquid stages.
  • It comes in the category of medium-lift launchers with a reach up to various orbits, including the GeoSynchronous Transfer Orbit, Lower Earth Orbit, and Polar Sun Synchronous Orbit.

Other Space Launch Vehicles by ISRO:

  • Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV): They are used to launch satellites and other space objects into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbits. GSLV has the capability to put a heavier payload in orbit than the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
  • Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV):SSLV is capable of putting a payload of 500 kg to mid-inclination Low Earth Orbit (LEO). It can also put a payload of 300 kg to Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO).  It is 34 metres tall and has a diameter of just two metres. It has a lift-off mass of 120 tonnes.

New Space India Limited (NSIL):

  • It was set up in March 2019. It is a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE), under the administrative control of Department of Space (DOS).
  • The NSIL has been set up to meet the increasing demands of Indian space programmes and to commercially exploit the emerging global space market.
  • The main functions of NSIL are:

o   Manufacture of Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) in collaboration with Private Sector,

o   production of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) through Indian Industry,

o   production and marketing of Space based products and services, including launch and application,

o   Transfer of technology developed by ISRO Centres and constituent units of DOS and

o   Marketing spin-off technologies and products/services, both in India and abroad.

Important Earth Observation Satellite series by ISRO: IRS series, RISAT series, RESOURCESAT series