India space mission: 31 satellites to be launched in January

Sheetal Sukhija - Monday 1st January, 2018

KARNATAKA, India - India has decided to launch its first space mission of the year on January 10 - when the country would launch 31 satellites on a single day.

India’s first space mission of the year onboard the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C40) comes four months after a similar rocket failed to deliver the country's eighth navigation satellite in the earth's lower orbit on August 31.

The earth observation spacecraft Cartosat would be part of the satellites launched by India on January 10, from its spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Director Devi Prasad Karnik said in a statement, “We have tentatively scheduled the rocket launch at 9.30 a.m. to carry Cartosat and other satellites, including 28 from the US and five other countries in a single mission.”

Karnik added, “The sixth Cartosat in 2A series and other satellites are being integrated with the rocket at the spaceport. The mission launch board will decide the rocket’s lift-off time for the reverse countdown two days ahead.”

Besides Cartosat-2, the mission’s payload will also include one each nano and microsatellite from India. 

As an observational satellite, Cartosat will beam high-quality images for cartographic, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation and utility management like road network monitoring.

Officials pointed out that the previous satellite in the Cartosat-2 series was launched on February 15, from the spaceport on the east coast, about 90km northeast of Chennai.