News Science & Technology


Written by Talent KAS

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Science and Technology [Paper-II]: Technology in Space and Defence, ISRO – its activities and achievements


  • India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C47 has launched Cartosat-3 and 13 commercial American nanosatellites into Sun Synchronous orbit from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota.
  • PSLV-C47 was the 21st flight of PSLV in ‘XL’ configuration (with 6 solid strap-on motors).
  • This was the 74th launch vehicle mission from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota and 9th satellite of Cartosat series.

What is Cartosat-3?

  • It is a third-generation agile advanced earth observation satellite with high-resolution imaging capability.
  • It was developed by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and will replace the IRS series.
  • It has a panchromatic resolution of 0.25 metres, which helps it conduct satellite imaging with the highest resolution.
  • The mission life of the Cartosat-3 is 5 years. It has an overall mass of over 1,600 kilograms.
  • It is India’s highest resolution civilian satellite and most advanced earth observation satellite built by the ISRO so far.
  • A key feature of the Cartosat is that it helps to detect changes in natural geographical or man-made features.
  • Their cameras can `look back and forth’ in an angle to generate continuous spot images.
  • One of Cartosat-3’s cameras offers a ground resolution of 25 cm – this means it can pick up an object of a minimum of that size from a height of around 500 km.
  • Currently, WorldView-3, a satellite owned by US company Maxar, has the best ground resolution of 31 cm.


  • Cartosat-3 will address the increased user’s demands for large scale urban planning, rural resource and infrastructure development, coastal land use and land cover, etc.
  • It could be potentially used for weather mapping and cartography.
  • It is also likely to have a military use since it provides highest-ever spatial resolution.

About PSLV

  • It is an indigenously developed expendable launch vehicle designed and operated by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
  • It comes in the category of medium-lift launchers with a reach up to various orbits, including the Geo Synchronous Transfer Orbit, Lower Earth Orbit, and Polar Sun Synchronous Orbit.
  • It is a third-generation rocket and the first Indian launch vehicle to be equipped with liquid stages.
  • It has three variants: PSLV-Core alone (PSLV-CA) without the solid strap-on motors; a PSLV with six solid strap-on boosters; and PSLV-XL, the top model, with six extended solid strap-on boosters.
  • The launch capability of the PSLV with these configurations varies from 1,000-1,750 kg.
  • The biggest advantage of PSLV is that it is capable of placing multiple payloads into orbit with multi-payload adaptors used in the payload fairing.
[Source: PIB, Business Standard, The Hindu]

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