The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) will launch 31 satellites, including the earth observation spacecraft Cartosat, on 10 January, from its spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, a space official said today.
The first space mission in 2018, which will use Isro's workhorse the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C40), comes four months after an earlier mission on 31 August failed to deliver the country's eighth navigation satellite, IRNSS-1H.
''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,'' ISRO Director Devi Prasad Karnik said.
The mission's main payload would be the Cartosat-2 series earth observation satellite. Besides, it will also include one nano and micro satellite 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.
''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,'' said Karnik.
The previous satellite in the Cartosat-2 series was launched on 15 February, from the spaceport on the east coast, about 90 km northeast of Chennai.
The Mission Readiness Review committee and Launch Authorisation Board is scheduled to meet in the coming days would take the final call, he said.
PSLV-C40 will be used for the launch from the spaceport in Andhra Pradesh's Sriharikota, about 100 kms from Chennai.
The mission would be a combination of 28 nano satellites from other countries, including Finland and the US, one micro and nano satellite from India along with one Cartosat satellite, the official said.
On August 31, India's mission to launch its backup navigation satellite IRNSS-1H on board PSLV-C39 ended in a failure after a technical fault on the final leg following a perfect launch.
ISRO then said the heat shield did not separate on the final leg of the launch sequence and, as a result, IRNSS-1H got stuck in the fourth stage of the rocket.
According to ISRO, Cartosat-2 series satellite launch is a follow-on mission with the primary objective of providing high resolution scene specific spot imageries.
It carries Panchromatic and Multi-spectral cameras operating in Time Delay Integration mode and is capable of delivering high resolution data.
This would be the third satellite in the Cartosat-2 series.
In February this year, PSLV-C37 launched the first Cartosat-2 series satellite along with 103 co-passenger satellites in a single flight.
In June, India's workhorse launch vehicle launched the second one along with 30 co-passenger satellites- the 39th consecutively successful mission of PSLV.