Satellite Cartosat-2 successfully re-entered Earth's atmosphere: ISRO

February 16, 2024
India’s cartograph satellite Cartosat-2 launched in 2007 successfully re-entered the Earth's atmosphere over the Indian Ocean

Chennai, Feb 16 (IANS) India’s cartograph satellite Cartosat-2 launched in 2007 successfully re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere over the Indian Ocean, said Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Friday.

“Cartosat-2, ISRO’s high-resolution imaging satellite, bid adieu with a descent into Earth’s atmosphere on February 14, 2024, as predicted. ISRO had lowered its orbit from 635 km to 380 km by early 2020,” the Indian space agency said.

“This strategic move minimised space debris and underscores ISRO’s commitment to sustainable space exploration,” ISRO added.

Weighing 680 kg at launch, the Cartosat-2 was operated in a Sun-synchronous Polar orbit at an altitude of 635 km. Until 2019, it provided high-resolution imagery for urban planning.

Initially, the satellite 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.

This 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’s 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, 2024.

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 then tracked the satellite by its multi-object tracking radar at its rocket port in Sriharikota.

The final prediction placed Cartosat-2’s re-entry over the Indian Ocean at 3:48 pm IST on February 14.

Analysis indicated that all major spacecraft components would demise during atmospheric re-entry. 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.


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