All you need to know about ISRO’s record launch

The Indian Space Research Organisation breaks Russia’s record, launches 104 satellites in one go

GN Bureau | February 15, 2017


#Planet   #Cartosat   #nano satellite   #Russia   #PSLV   #satellite   #Indian Space Research Organisation   #ISRO  
Screengrab of PSLV-C37 launching 104 satellites
Photo Courtesy: Doordarshan

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has scripted history by launching 104 satellites in one go from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. With this launch, India becomes the first country to launch the maximum number of satellites on a single rocket. The record was earlier held by Russia with 37 satellites being launched in 2014.

 
The USA had launched 29 satellites in one go in 2013, while in June 2015, ISRO had launched 20 satellites in one go.
 
Here’s all you need to know about the launch:
 
  1. The ISRO used its trusted workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C37, to launch the satellites. It was the 39th flight of PSLV-C37. 
  2. The entire launch is carrying a satellite mass of around 1,378 kg. Of this, the main satellite for earth observation weighs 714 kg and 103 other smaller ‘nano satellites’ weigh 664 kg.
  3. PSLV is carrying three Indian satellites, 96 small satellites of USA, and one each are from the space agency’s international customers Israel, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Switzerland and United Arab Emirates.
  4. The nano-satellites belonging to international customers are being launched through Antrix Corporation Ltd (ANTRIX), the commercial arm of ISRO.
  5. The main passenger on the PSLV-C37 rocket is India’s Cartosat-2 series satellite. The satellite can produce high-resolution images of the Indian landmass for applications like rural and urban management, coastal land use and regulation, monitoring of road networks or water pipelines, and for building various kinds of land information systems. It will also help in monitoring the activities of the country’s neighbours, like Pakistan and China, at a resolution of less than a metre. 
  6. Four Cartosat-2 satellites are already in space. Cartosat-2 Series has a mission life of five years. 
  7. The other two Indian satellites belong to the nano satellite category: INS-1A and INS-1B. They carry a total of four different payloads from Space Applications Centre (SAC) and Laboratory for Electro Optics Systems (LEOS) of ISRO for conducting various experiments. 
  8. The launch is also significant for the American company, Planet, earlier known as Planet Labs, which owns 88 of the 104 satellites launched. 
  9. The San Francisco-based company had put another flock of 12 satellites on the PSLV-C34 mission last year. The 88 satellites on PSLV-C37 will take the company’s constellation to 100, which will create the most detailed imagery of the earth’s surface ever. 
  10. The PSLV will first launch the Cartosat-2 series satellite for and then inject the 103 co-passenger satellites.
  11. Pleased with the growth and progress of ISRO, the government recently announced a 23 percent increase in the budget of the Indian space agency. 

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