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India would launch its latest remote sensing satellite in Cartosat-2 series along with 28 foreign satellites riding piggy-back in December, a top space official said.


“In the next launch, we have a Cartosat along with 28 international commercial satellites, which we will launch in the second half of December,” said S. Rakesh, the Chairman and Managing Director of Antrix Corporation Ltd, the commercial arm of state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).


There will be 25 nanosatellites and three microsatellites from the US and other countries as co-passengers along the space firm’s own satellite of the Cartosat-2 series, he said. The satellites will be launched into the orbit onboard the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), Rakesh added.


The next launch will be keenly watched as it comes after ISRO’s PSLV rocket failed to deploy a spare navigation satellite on August 31. The rocket’s heat shield had failed to separate leaving the satellite inside the shield. The Cartosat-2 is an earth observation satellite that is capable of providing high-quality images.


Imageries from Cartosat-2 series are used for cartographic, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation, utility management like road network monitoring, water distribution, creation of land use maps, change detection to bring out geographical and man-made features and other Land Information System (LIS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) applications.


The previous satellite (Cartosat-2E) in the series was launched on February 15 this year from the spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, about 90km northeast of Chennai.


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