sgups writes "India will tomorrow inaugurate a new launch pad at its Satish Dhawan space port near Chennai, on the south-east coast, by putting the world's first stereographic mapping satellite into orbit. The most innovative feature of the 1.6-tonne Cartosat-1 is its pair of cameras, which will give stereo images of the earth's surface that can distinguish features down to 2.5 metres across. They will directly generate three-dimensional maps that have until now been achievable only indirectly, by combining data from a large number of satellite passes over the same place. "Such a stereographic imaging system does not exist in the civil sector anywhere else," says Mr Nair, chairman of the Bangalore-based Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro). "It will give information about heights that will be very useful in applications such as planning power lines." Cartosat-1 will join what is already the world's largest cluster of non-military remote sensing satellites. Six Indian spacecraft are already observing the earth with a wide range of instruments."
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