ISRO Successfully Brings Down Cartosat-2 to Earth’s Atmosphere 17 Years After Its Launch

Last Updated: February 16, 2024, 19:49 IST

ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle carrying the 712 kg Cartosat-2 Series Satellite. (PTI File Photo)

The satellite entered the earth’s atmosphere at 3.48 pm IST on February 14 over the Indian Ocean

Cartosat-2, ISRO’s first satellite in the second generation of high-resolution imaging satellites launched 17 years ago, has been brought down from space to the Earth’s atmosphere, an official of the space agency said on Friday.

The satellite entered the earth’s atmosphere at 3.48 pm IST on February 14 over the Indian Ocean. Either it would have burnt out or its leftovers might have fallen in the sea, which we may not be able to find, the official said.

According to ISRO, the satellite was launched on January 10, 2007. It weighed 680 kg at launch and operated in a sun-synchronous polar orbit at an altitude of 635 km. Until 2019, it provided high-resolution imagery for urban planning, ISRO said in a statement.

Initially, Cartosat-2 was expected to take about 30 years to naturally de-orbit. However, ISRO opted to lower its perigee using leftover fuel to comply with international guidelines on space debris mitigation, it said.

“This exercise involved reducing collision risks and ensuring safe end-of-life disposal, following recommendations from organisations like the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN-COPOUS) and the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC),” ISRO said.

ISRO said its System for Safe and Sustainable Space Operations (IS4OM) team at ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) predicted Cartosat-2’s atmospheric re-entry for February 14.

Electrical passivation was completed on February 14th, and tracking continued until re-entry. The final telemetry frames confirmed successful passivation, with the satellite reaching about 130 km altitude, ISRO said.

This exercise provided an opportunity to assess indigenous tracking capabilities, with the multi-object tracking radar at the spaceport of Sriharikota utilised for tracking.

The final prediction placed Cartosat-2’s re-entry over the Indian Ocean at 10:18 UTC / 3:48 pm IST on February 14, 2024. Analysis indicated that all major spacecraft components would demise (sic) during atmospheric re-entry, ISRO said.

According to the space agency, Cartosat-2’s successful de-orbiting at its end-of-life represents a significant step for ISRO in ensuring the long-term sustainability of outer space activities.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)

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