Indian PSLV Rocket Puts Cartosat-2B into Orbit

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BANGALORE, India — India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) successfully launched July 12 the country’s Cartosat-2B advanced remote sensing satellite along with Algeria’s Alsat-2A spacecraft, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said.

The launch — originally scheduled for May 9 but postponed due to a technical glitch — took place at 9:22 a.m. local time from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on India’s southeastern coast.

Also launched on the mission were two nanosatellites weighing 6.5 kilograms and 1 kilogram built by the University of Toronto and the University of Applied Sciences of Switzerland, respectively, and a 0.65-kilogram picosatellite called “studsat” built by students from seven engineering colleges in Bangalore and Hyderabad, India, ISRO said in a statement.

The mission was the 17th flight of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle and 15th consecutive success, ISRO said.

ISRO said the 694-kilogram Cartosat-2B was placed in a sun-synchronous polar orbit at a height of 630 kilometers. Cartosat-2B carries a state-of-the-art panchromatic camera that can take black-and-white pictures with a spatial resolution of 0.8 meters, or sharp enough to distinguish ground objects of that size and larger.

It is also a highly agile spacecraft, capable of steering its camera up to plus or minus 26 degrees along its north-south and east-west axes to facilitate imaging of any area more frequently, ISRO said. ISRO spokesman S. Satish said data from the satellite will help preparation of large-scale cartographic maps.

Algeria’s Alsat-2A, weighing 116 kilograms, is a small remote sensing satellite. The nanosatellites will validate some satellite technologies, ISRO said.