India scripted history on Friday by successfully placing into orbit a satellite that will enhance its military surveillance capabilities along with 30 other tiny satellites. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in its 40th flight (PSLV-C38) lifted off majestically from the first launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
Here are ten amazing things you must know about this significant mission that holds the second highest number of satellites to be launched by the ISRO using a single rocket:
1) The 712-kg Cartosat-2 series earth observation spacecraft is populaly known as 'smart eye in the sky' and it was launched by the 44.4-metre tall rocket as its primary payload is an advanced remote sensing satellite that is expected to give defence surveillance a leg up.
2) According to ISRO, the total weight of the 30 satellites is 243 kg, while the all the 31 satellites including Cartosat weighs about 955 kg. The PSLV-C38 rocket injected all the satellites into a 505 km polar sun sunchronous orbit (SSO).
3) The latest remote sensing satellite has a resolution of 0.6 metres, which means it can spot even smaller objects.
4) The co-passenger satellites includes a nano satellite designed and developed by the Noorul Islam University in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu. The NIUSAT satellite would provide multi-spectral imagery for agricultural crop monitoring and disaster management support applications.
5) The other 29 nano satellites are from Austria, Belgium, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
6) After a flight of 16 minutes the Cartosat-2 series satellite achieved a polar Sun Synchronous Orbit of 505 km inclined at an angle of 97.44 degree to the equator very close to the intended orbit, ISRO said.
7) Later, all the other 30 satellites successfully separated from the PSLV in a predetermined sequence.
8) As per the ISRO release, after separation of the satellite, the two solar arrays of Cartosat-2 series satellite were deployed automatically and ISRO's Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) at Bengaluru took over the control of the satellite.
9) The space agency said the 29 international customer Nano satellites are being launched as part of the commercial narrangements between Antrix Corporation Limited (Antrix), commercial arm of ISRO and international customers.
10) The imagery sent by the satellite would be useful for cartographic applications, urban and rural, coastal land use and regulation, utility management like road network monitoring, water distribution, creation of land use maps, change detection to bring out geographical and man-made features and various other land information system (LIS) as well as geographical information systems (GIS).