Setting a new record in the space mission, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) successfully launched 104 satellites in one go from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, on February 15, 2017.
- The satellites were launched on Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C37 which marked its 39th flight.
- The mission was ISRO’s first space mission for the year 2017 apart from being the most complicated mission ever carried out.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee congratulated the space agency for the historic event that significantly boosts India’s space programme.
About the Mission
The 104 satellite included a 714 kg Cartosat-2 Series satellite for earth observation, two Indian nano satellites INS-1A and INS-1B and 101 international nano satellites. Of the 101 satellites, 96 of these belong to USA and one each belongs to Israel, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Switzerland and United Arab Emirates.
- Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C37 took off firstly to launch the 714 kg Cartosat-2 series satellite for earth observation, followed by two of India’s nano satellites, INS-1A and INS-1B, weighing 30 kg and finally the 101 co-passenger satellites together weighing about 664 kg.
- In total, the entire launch carried a satellite mass of about 1,378 kg.The satellites were placed in the 520 km distant polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO) in a gap of about 30 minutes after separations.
- So far, ISRO has launched 226 satellites, including 179 belonging to foreign countries.
The primary payload Cartosat-2 Series satellite carried by PSLV-C37 is similar to the earlier four satellites in Cartosat-2 Series.
- The Cartosat-2 satellite, an earth observation satellite was launched to provide remote sensing services. It has a mission life of five years.
- Images sent by it will be useful for coastal land use and regulation, road network monitoring, distribution of water and creation of land use maps, among others.
INS1-A and INS 1-B
The two Indian nano satellites INS-1A and INS-1B were developed as co-passenger satellites to accompany bigger satellites on PSLV.
- The primary objective of INS (ISRO Nano Satellite) is to provide an opportunity for ISRO technology demonstration payloads, provide a standard bus for launch on demand services.
- INS-1A and INS-1B carries total of four different payloads from Space Applications Centre (SAC) and Laboratory for Electro Optics Systems (LEOS) of ISRO for conducting various experiments.
- INS-1A carries Surface Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function Radiometer and INS-1B caries Earth Exosphere Lyman Alpha Analyser as payloads.
101 International Satellites
The 101 international customer nano-satellites are being launched as part of the commercial arrangements between Antrix Corporation Limited (Antrix), the commercial arm of ISRO and the international customers.
- A majority of the satellites of US have earth-imaging capability and belong to a US company named Planet.
About the Launch Vehicle PSLV
Scientists have used the XL variant of PSLV which is the most powerful rocket of ISRO.
- It made its debut in 2008 to send India’s first lunar probe the Chandrayaan-1 and during the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM).
- In terms of overall mission success rate of the ISRO, they haven’t failed since 2010.
The successful launch set a new record for ISRO for launching the most number of satellites (104) in one go.
- Earlier, the record was held with the Russian Space Agency that launched 37 satellites in 2014.
- Besides, the US space agency NASA launched 29 while ISRO successfully launched 20 satellites in one go in June 2015.
About Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)
ISRO is the space agency of the Government of Republic of India headquartered in the city of Bengaluru. It is managed by the Department of Space
- The prime objective of ISRO is to develop space technology and its application to various national tasks.
- ISRO the fourth space agency in the world as well as the first space agency in Asia to successfully reach Mars orbit
- Headquarter: Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
- Founded: 15 August 1969
- Chairman: A. S. Kiran Kumar