Cartosat-2F image
India's remote sensing satellite Cartosat-2 has become operational and started beaming images from the earth's lower orbit. The first image in high resolution shows a part of Indore, about 200 km from Bhopal in central India. ISRO

India's recently launched remote sensing satellite Cartosat-2f has become operational and the first high-resolution image of parts of Indore in Madhya Pradesh, India reflect clearer vision of even a stadium and its neighborhood.

D.P. Karnik, Director of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), said, "Cartosat-2 has been operationalized and beamed the first image on Monday after it was launched and deployed in the earth's lower orbit on January 12."

The 710-kg spacecraft had been launched on January 12 from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh using India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). It was successfully placed at its 505 km sun-synchronous orbit within few hours of launch.

The PSLV mission also carried 30 other micro and nano satellites including one nanosatellite and microsatellite of India and 28 foreign payloads. This included India's 100th satellite.

Karnik also stated that the 10-kg nanosatellite and 100-kg microsatellite have also started functioning and started relaying data from their respective orbits to India's ground control stations. The microsat was placed in its sun-synchronous orbit of 359-km above the earth during the third stage of the mission. The rocket engine later shifted to its fourth stage to deliver the other payloads to their respective orbits.

The recent Cartosat launch is regarded as the first among the series of launch missions assigned for the PSLV during the first phase of 2018. The Indian space agency is planning to deploy its heaviest communication satellite GSAT-11 in January from French Guiana, South America.

ISRO will also launch the second phase of its Moon mission Chandrayaan-2 in the first quarter of 2018. The successful launch of Cartosat-2f has increased the trust of India's "workhorse launcher" PSLV.

PSLV had been undergoing 4 months of tests and investigations after its failure to launch IRNSS-1H to India's Regional Navigation Satellite System in August 2017. The failure had occurred after 39 continuously successful missions of the launcher.

PSLV is credited for successfully lofting off 104 satellites to their orbits in one go in February 2018.