The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) set a new record with the launch of 20 satellites in 26 minutes on June 22, 2016.
The space agency of the Indian government, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), successfully launched 20 satellites on the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C34) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR in Sriharikota, in Andhra Pradesh (South East) on June 22, 2016.
The satellites include Cartosat-2, two student satellites from Indian universities and 17 satellites from US, Germany, Canada and Indonesia.
The 727.5 kilograms Cartosat-2 series satellite would be used for Earth observation and according to ISRO, the imagery sent by the satellite will be useful for many applications: cartographic ones, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation, utility management, water distribution, creation of land use maps, precision study, changed detection to bring out geographical and manmade features and various other Land Information System (LIS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) applications.
Sathyabamasat and Swayam from India, Lapan-A3 from Indonesia, Dove (12 satellites) and Skysat Gen 2-1 from US, Biros from Germany, M3MSAT and GHGSAT-D from Canada, are the other satellites launched into the orbit.
“With this mission, we have launched the current generation Earth observation satellite along with 17 satellites from foreign countries. Each of these small objects will carry out their own activity, which is independent of the other and each of them will live a wonderful life for a finite period,” A.S. Kiran Kumar, ISRO chairman said.
PSLV’s 35th consecutive successful mission
The total weight of all the 20 satellites carried on PSLV-C34 was 1288 kilograms and this is the 35th consecutive successful mission of PSLV and the 14th in its XL configuration.
Most of the satellites will enter the orbit to observe and measure the Earth’s atmosphere, while one of them aims to provide service for amateur radio operators.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the launch as a monumental accomplishment for the state-run ISRO.
ISRO also used the occasion to test its capabilities to launch multiple satellites into different orbits.
B Jayakumar, the mission director, said that multiple launches in a single mission required complex technology and ISRO is working on resolving certain problems that may arise during such launches.
“Initially we were a little hesitant to take 20 satellites in one go but we soon resolved the problems. What we have achieved shows we have the expertise to take up complex missions,” he said.