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ISRO to launch CARTOSAT- 2B satellite soon

A file photo ofg Cartosat-2A launched in April 2008.

BANGALORE (PTI): India would shortly launch Cartosat-2B, a high-resolution remote sensing satellite that would aid in infrastructure and urban planning Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman K Radhakrishnan said on Thursday.

The launch was expected by March end or mid-April and the exact date would be finalised at the mission readiness review (MRR) meeting on February 10, he told reporters here.

The satellite, which would be launched by Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), has a 0.8 metre resolution. This makes it capable to even take pictures of a car on the ground.

"Basically, it's a high resolution satellite," he said.

India launched Cartosat-2 in January 2007 and Cartosat-2A in April 2008. Cartosat-2B would add to the capability of the first two satellites.

"The advantage is when you have three satellites, you get more coverage in a day from different locations. So, this will be of use for infrastructure and urban planning because an object of 0.8 metres by 0.8 metres, say a car which is going on a road, that level you can identify," he said.

"When you want infrastructure planning for a city, you need pictures of that resolution. That's what it (Cartosat) is going to give," the ISRO chairman added.

The February 10 MRR would also decide on the launch date of GSAT-4, an experimental communication satellite, on board GSLV with indigenous cryogenic engine for the first time, though the time-frame would again be similar -- March-end to mid-April, Radhakrishnan said.

GSAT-4 would also carry a scientific payload, Tauvex comprising three ultra-violet band telescopes developed by Tel Aviv University and Israel Space Agency in certain wave lengths.

ISRO's previous Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) flights carried Russian cryogenic stages procured earlier by the space agency.

The coming GSLV launch would catapult India into a select club of nations who have mastered the complex cryogenic technology.

Asked about the update on India's manned space flight planned for 2016, Radhakrishan said: "We are trying to have crew module developed and tested. That's the first step".

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