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  4. Cartosat-2 mission concludes: ISRO successfully crashes satellite back to earth | All details

Cartosat-2 mission concludes: ISRO successfully crashes satellite back to earth | All details

ISRO successfully ended its Cartosat-2 mission by safely bringing the probe back to Earth. Here's everything you need to know about this mission.

Vishal Upadhyay Written By: Vishal Upadhyay New Delhi Published on: February 16, 2024 13:28 IST
Final re-entry ground traces of Cartosat-2 (NORAD id 29710)
Image Source : ISRO Final re-entry ground traces of Cartosat-2 (NORAD id 29710) showing impact point over the Indian Ocean

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) safely ended the mission of its Cartosat-2 probe by crashing it back to Earth. The spacecraft, launched in 2007, had completed its mission in 2019. Since then, ISRO has been gradually lowering its orbit to ensure a safe re-entry into the atmosphere.

Mission conclusion and purpose

According to ISRO, Cartosat-2 was a high-resolution imaging satellite useful for various cartographic applications such as urban and rural mapping, coastal land use monitoring, and utility management like road networks and water distribution.

"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 space agency said in a statement.

ISRO successfully brought down Cartosat-2's orbit from 635 km to 380 km by early 2020, using leftover fuel for an accelerated descent. This decision was in line with international guidelines on space debris mitigation.

Role of ISRO team

The ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) team, particularly the System for Safe and Sustainable Space Operations (IS4OM), played a crucial role in predicting and executing Cartosat-2's controlled descent.

ISRO ensured a controlled and safe end-of-life disposal by completing electrical passivation on February 14th and continuously tracking the satellite until re-entry. The final telemetry frames confirmed the successful passivation, with Cartosat-2 reaching an altitude of approximately 130 km before re-entry.

Significance of mission conclusion

"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," the space agency mentioned. 

The mission aligns with international efforts to minimise space debris and adheres to guidelines set by organisations like the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN-COPOUS) and the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC).

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