In a momentous occasion for Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) as well as India, a record 104 satellites was launched today from the spaceport of Sriharikota of Andhra Pradesh. India now becomes the first country to script history after launching the 104 satellites in a single rocket. ISRO already an achiever of extraordinary feats, has outdone itself and Russia which previously held the record for the most satellites launched in a single mission- which is 37 – in 2014. Last June, ISRO had sent up 20 satellites in one go, its personal best. It is using the same rocket this time — the XL version of the popular Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), to push the boundaries of efficiency and effectiveness in space launches.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday congratulated ISRO for the “successful launch of PSLV-C37 and CARTOSAT satellite together with 103 nano satellites!”. “This remarkable feat by @isro is yet another proud moment for our space scientific community and the nation. India salutes our scientists,” PM Modi tweeted.
WATCH VIDEO | Why Is ISRO’s PSLV-C37 Rocket Launch With Record 104 Satellites Important?
Check out PM Modi’s tweet
Spoke to the Secretary, Department of Space and congratulated him & the entire team of scientists on today’s exceptional achievement.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 15, 2017
With smaller satellites — like the ‘Cubesats’ that measure 10cm x 10cm x 10cm and weigh between 1 kg and 10 kg — becoming the norm, it is possible to load more and more of them on to a single rocket. Satellites that are even more small and light are becoming popular too, and are being used for a variety of space applications. When ISRO put in to orbit 10 satellites on the PSLV-C10 in June 2008, it created a world record. But the record was subsequently broken several times by Russian and American rockets.
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Of 101 co-passenger satellites, 96 belong to USA, five from International customers of ISRO — Israel, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, respectively.
Check out ISRO’s tweet
PSLV-C37 / Cartosat -2 Series Mission Successfully Launched all 104 Satellites
— ISRO (@isro) February 15, 2017
Two other Indian nano satellites, totally weighing about 1,378 kg, will also ride piggyback in the rocket. The nano-satellites belonging to international customers are being launched as part of the arrangement by Antrix Corporation Ltd (ANTRIX) the commercial arm of the ISRO. Cartosat-2 Series, which is the primary satellite, will be similar to the earlier four satellites in Cartosat-2 Series.
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It was ISRO’s second successful attempt after launching 23 satellites in one go in June 2015. PSLV has first launched the 714 kg CARTOSAT-2 Series satellite for earth observation and then inject 103 co-passenger satellites, together weighing about 664 kg at lift-off into polar Sun Synchronous Orbit, about 520 km from Earth.