Updated February 16th, 2024 at 16:59 IST

17 Years After its Launch Into Space, ISRO Successfully Brings Down Imaging Satellite Cartostat-2

As per ISRO, Cartosat-2's successful de-orbiting represents a significant step for the agency in ensuring the sustainability of its outer space activities.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Image for representative purposes only. | Image:Freepik
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BENGALURU: Over 17 years after it was first launched into space, Cartostat-2, ISRO's (Indian Space Research Organisation) second-generation earth observation satellite. was brought down to the Earth's atmosphere. According to an ISRO official quoted in a PTI report, the defunct imaging satellite entered the Earth's atmosphere at 14:48 IST (India Standard Time) on February 14 over the Indian Ocean. The official noted that the satellite would have likely burnt out upon atmospheric re-entry or its leftover pieces may have fallen into the ocean. The satellite, first launched into space in 2007 and used to provide high-resolution imagery for urban planning until 2019, was supposed to take around three decades to naturally de-orbit.

But, as per the ISRO official, the timeline was moved up and the agency used the remainder of the satellite's fuel to lower its perigee so that the atmospheric re-entry would be compliant with international guidelines to minimise the resultant space debris.      

"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.

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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 14, and tracking continued until re-entry. The final telemetry frames confirmed successful passivation, with the satellite reaching about 130 km altitude,” ISRO said.

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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.

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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. 

With inputs from PTI. 

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Published February 16th, 2024 at 16:59 IST