ISRO successfully launches CARTOSAT-3, 13 US nanosatellites

PTI Sriharikota | Updated on November 27, 2019

The PSLV-C47 carrying Cartosat-3 and 13 USA nanosatellites lifts off from Sriharikota   -  Twitter/ @isro

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Wednesday successfully injected into orbit its earth imaging and mapping satellite CARTOSAT-3 along with 13 commercial nanosatellites from the United States.

PSLV-C47 lifted-off in cloudy skies at 09:28 AM from the second launch pad at the spaceport at Sriharikota. CARTOSAT-3, India’s most complex and advanced earth imaging satellite built so far, was placed into orbit 17 minutes and 46 seconds after lift-off, the immediate mission after Chandrayaan-2, where the lander crashed while making a soft descent on the lunar surface on September 7. “All the 13 nanosatellites from the US were released into the orbit at 26 minutes and 56 seconds after lift-off,” ISRO said.


The Telemetry Tracking and Command Network of Indian Space Research Organisation has assumed control of the CARTOSAT-3 satellite.

“After separation of the CARTOSAT-3, its solar arrays were deployed automatically and the ISRO’s Telemetry Tracking and Command Network at Bengaluru assumed control of the satellite,” ISRO said, adding that in the coming days, the satellite would be brought to its final operational configuration.

‘Launch successful’

ISRO Chairman K Sivan and other scientists broke into cheers as the earth imaging and mapping satellite was injected precisely into the desired orbit.

Later, speaking from the Mission Control Centre, Sivan said, “I am extremely happy to declare that PSLV-C47 precisely injected CARTOSAT-3 and 13 customer satellites successfully in the desired orbit of 509 kms.” “CARTOSAT-3 is India’s highest resolution civilian satellite, and the most complex and advanced earth observation satellite ISRO has built so far,” he said.

He also congratulated the teams behind both the satellite as well as the launch vehicle, besides various review teams and industry partners involved in the mission.

On future missions, the ISRO chief said, “Our hands are full,” with 13 missions slated upto March 2020. “They combine some six launch vehicle missions and seven satellite missions,” he said.

Team ISRO will rise to the occasion and meet challenges and make every mission a grand success, a beaming Sivan said as relief was writ large on his face since the earlier mission Chandrayaan-2 did not yield the desired results.


With an overall mass of 1,625 kg, CARTOSAT-3 would address increased user’s demands for large scale urban planning, rural resource and infrastructure development, coastal land use and land cover. It will also serve military purposes. PSLV-C47 is the 21st flight of PSLV in ‘XL’ configuration (with 6 solid strap-on motors).

The 13 commercial nanosatellites from the US are being carried as part of commercial arrangement with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) of the Department of Space. Among the 13 commercial nanosatellites are FLOCK-4P, 12 in numbers, with mission objective of earth observation, and one satellite named MESHBED, whose objective is communication test bed.

ISRO has said this would be the 74th launch vehicle mission from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. The PSLV is in its 49th mission while PSLV-XL variant on its 21st mission. CASRTOSAT-3 is the ninth in the Cartosat series and today’s launch is the fifth for ISRO in 2019.

Published on November 27, 2019

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