India Looks Good with CARTOSAT

    May 5, 2005

India advanced its space and business future with the successful deployment of the Cartosat-1 satellite. The ton and a half mapping satellite soared over the new Satish Dhawan Space Center in Srihartoka as the 9th successful space mission for the Indian Space Research Organization.

The PSLV rocket, laden with the Cartosat and another piggybacked satellite called Hamsat, took off today and deployed the satellite in less than 20 minutes. The Cartosat 1 is loaded with toys for its job. It carries two panchromatic cameras that provided 3-D imaging in the visible electromagnetic spectrum.

ISRO Chairman Madhavan Nair said the organization would use Cartosat 1 in the first year for India’s cartographic needs and then look at utilizing the commercial potential of the satellite later said at a press conference.

The ISRO expects the about 5 years of life out of the $57.7 million Cartosat 1 and already has several nations chomping at the bit to use it. Japan, China, UAE and Germany have all shown interesting in tapping the satellite for use.

The Hamsat, which road in the glove box of this long distance road trip, will be a boon for HAM radio operators. It will strengthen signals in the relatively weak coverage area of South Asia. Ham radio operators routinely provide assistance in emergencies as an additional form of person-to-person communication.

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.