In a historic day for India, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Wednesday launched 20 satellites including, earth observation satellite Cartosat-2 series. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket lifted off with 20 satellites totally weighing 1,288 kg at 9:26 am. The 48-hour countdown began on Monday at 9.26 am for the launch of 20 satellites onboard PSLV C-34 from Sriharikota today.
The PSLV rocket will launch its earth observation satellite Cartosat-2 series and also 19 more including that of Google company Terra Bella’s SkySat Gen2, of former NASA employee’s Planet Labs Dove Satellites and others. Cartosat-2 Series is similar to the earlier Cartosat-2, 2A and 2B, and 19 co-passenger satellites together weighing about 560 kg at lift-off would be injected into a 505-km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit.
According to ISRO, the total weight of all the 20 satellites is about 1,288 kg. The other 19 satellites weighing totally around 560 kg are from US, Canada, Germany and Indonesia as well as one satellite each from Chennai’s Sathyabama University and College of Engineering, Pune. The images sent by Cartosat satellite will be useful for cartographic, urban, rural, coastal land use, water distribution and other applications. In 2008, the ISRO had launched 10 satellites with the PSLV rocket.