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India puts another 'eye in the sky'

24 Juin 2017

Sriharikota: Within 18 days of launching the next generation launch vehicle GSLV Mk-III rocket, the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) successfully completed another mission as the PSLV-C38 rocket launched the earth observation Cartosat-2E satellite and 30 nanosatellites from 14 countries into their designated orbit on Friday.

The 31 satellites weighed 955 kg.

"Congratulations to ISRO on its 40th successful Polar satellite launch".

Following the 28-hour countdown activities, the PSLV rocket lifted off from the first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre at 9.29 am.

The 29 co-passenger nanosatellites are from 14 foreign countries, including Austria, Belgium, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, UK, and the U.S. and one nanosatellite from India.

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"It can recognise objects within that square (0.6 m by 0.6 m)", an Isro official told PTI on condition of anonymity. "It can be used to identify terrorist camps", the official said.

Once this satellite becomes operational, it would be "handed over" to the defence forces, which have their own "set up", including ground-stations and trained manpower to access data, the official said. At that time, the rocket had carried 20 satellites, the most by ISRO on a single flight at that time.

With the launch of the third spacecraft in the Cartosat-2 series, the images sent by the dedicated satellite for defence forces are expected to become sharper and wider. Considered the most powerful "eye" in the sky among the Cartosat series, the latest module will also equip India to achieve self-proficiency and self-reliance in zeroing in on targets and capturing high-resolution, crystal-clear pictures, thus reducing the country's till-date dependence on other sources for procurement of the desired images.

The space agency said the 29 worldwide customer Nano satellites are being launched as part of the commercial arrangements between Antrix Corporation Limited (Antrix), commercial arm of Isro and global customers.

India puts another 'eye in the sky'