In the first of three launches scheduled worldwide Friday, ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle has conducted its fortieth launch, deploying a Cartosat-2 Earth imaging spacecraft and a host of small satellites. Liftoff from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in India was on schedule at 09:29 local time (03:59 UTC).
Friday’s launch deployed the sixth Cartosat-2 satellite. ISRO has stopped individually naming these spacecraft, instead describing the payload as a “Cartosat-2 series spacecraft” although the spacecraft is informally known as CartoSat-2E – continuing the series used before the spacecraft stopped being named.
Joining the Cartosat spacecraft for its journey into orbit were thirty small spacecraft from fifteen different countries, including the first Latvian and Slovakian satellites.
Designed for Earth observation, CartoSat-2E is the latest in a series of spacecraft which have been used for both military and civilian applications. following on from the civilian Cartosat-2 which was launched in January 2007.