The ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) has launched 31 satellites aboard a PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) rocket from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. This launch symbolizes the 42nd flight of PSLV and the first launch since the failed mission last August when ISRO failed to revolve its eighth navigation satellite. The latest launch comprises of ISRO’s Cartosat-2 series remote-sensing satellite as well as 30 extra satellites supplied by several ISRO customers from Canada, Finland, France, Korea, UK and the US.

After finishing a 16min 37s flight, the satellites reached a polar Sun-synchronous orbit of 503km, which is 97.55° inclined to the equator. The 710kg Cartosat-2 series satellite, as well as all other co-passenger satellites, effectively detached from the PSLV rocket in a programmed sequence. After detaching from its launch vehicle, the Cartosat-2 was automatically released into a polar orbit 365km-high.

ISRO’s Telemetry, Tracking and Command Netatwork (ISTRAC) at Bengaluru has taken control of the satellite, which is planned to be almost complete in the next few days. ISTRAC will also control and observe Cartosat-2’s two other Indian co-passenger satellites, as well as the 11kg INS-1C and the 100kg Microsat.

Once completely ready, Cartosat-2 will use its panchromatic (black and white) and multispectral (color) cameras to offer remote sensing data.