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India to launch 2 new satellites

India will put into orbit two satellites using a home-grown rocket on May 5 as part of its growing programme to harness space for development. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced that the countdown for the launch of CARTOSTAT-1 and HAMSAT would begin at the launch pad on 3rd May’s morning.

This is the first time that ISRO will put into orbit two completely indigenous satellites with the help of its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket. For the first time, the payload will be over 1,600 kg. More significantly, the launch will mark the first test of Indian cryogenic fuel systems. So far, India has been using Russian cryogenic systems.

CARTOSTAT-1 is a mapping satellite while HAMSAT is a smaller satellite for amateur radio enthusiasts. The PSLV-C6, ISRO’s tried and tested workhorse in space with seven successful launches, will carry the satellites to their respective orbits.

“CARTOSTAT-1 is (a) first of its kind in the civilian domain and will be equipped with two cameras with spatial resolution of 2.5 metres. These high resolution cameras will take stereoscopic images for cadastral level mapping and updating,” an ISRO official told visiting reporters here. The cameras will be able to photograph objects measuring 2.5 metres.