Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) recorded the highest number of satellites to be launched in a single mission today.
In a first, ISRO launched 104 satellites in a single mission today, with the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C37 carrying these satellites. Out of the 104 satellites launched, three were Indian. PSLV-C37 was on its 39th mission and in the morning today, Sriharikota space centre saw the launch of these satellites. India’s weather observation CARTOSAT-2 Series satellite and 103 nano satellites were placed into orbit in a gap of 30 minutes from this spaceport, which is situated in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. “All 104 satellites are successfully placed in orbit. My hearty congratulations to the entire ISRO team for the wonderful job they have done,” said ISRO chairman, AS Kirankumar. A large number of people, including the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee expressed their sentiments after the launch of the satellites, congratulating the ISRO for the feat.
Congratulations to ISRO on the successful launch of PSLV-C37, carrying a record 104 satellites #PresidentMukherjee
— President of India (@RashtrapatiBhvn) February 15, 2017
ISRO beat the highest record for number of satellites to be launched at one go after surpassing the Russian space agency’s launch of 37 satellites in 2014. ISRO’s own record was launching 20 satellites in June 2015. The CATOSAT-2 Series satellite, weighing 414 kg, meant for earth observation, was launched first after which the 103 satellites whose total weight was around 664 kg were sent. Among the 101 co-passenger satellites that were not Indian, 96 belong to USA, and the rest of the five were from international customers of ISRO – Israel, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Switzerland and United Arab Emirates. Project Director B Jayakumar, while talking to the Indian media about the launch, explained, “It was a very good learning experience for us. We have launched 226 satellites out of which 179 are from foreign nations.”
Boost for the country
Apart from setting a record with large numbers of satellites being launched, ISRO’s CARTOSAT-2 Series is set to aid cartography in India. India has seven satellites that make up the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) that work together to help with mapping and observation in general. Earth observation will also be the main focus of CARTOSAT-2 Series, whose previous craft was launched in June 2016. Then, ISRO had stated that the imagery sent by the satellite would be used by many applications for both urban and rural spheres, coastal land use and regulation, creation of land use maps, precision study and various other Land Information System (LIS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) applications.
— ISRO (@isro) February 15, 2017