The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is eyeing yet another feat. The space research body has, on Monday, said that it will launch as many as 30 satellites in a single mission on board its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) in December. The mission, whose main payload would be Cartosat-2 series earth observation satellite, will be the first PSLV mission after the unsuccessful launch of navigation satellite IRNSS-1H in August. ISRO Chairman Kiran Kumar said, “We are planning our next launch in the second half of December, all things are in place… It will be a satellite of Cartosat-2 series along with other co-passengers.” The mission will be a combination of 25 nano satellites, three micro-satellites and one Cartosat satellite, one university satellite might also be included in the fleet. Most of the co-passengers of Cartosat-2 series satellite would commercial satellites from foreign countries, including Finland and the US, as per a report by PTI.
It must also be noted the space body is planning for another big launch next year. The next in the ISRO calendar, after the launch of 30 satellites in December this year, will be the lunar mission Chandrayaan-2, on board GSLV-Mk II, scheduled for March 2018. On Chandrayaan-2, Kumar said right now the orbiter was getting integrated at Bengaluru and some more tests were going on with regard to the lander and rover, instruments and systems. “By the first quarter of the next year we expect to put the orbiter, lander, rover – all the things together into the lunar orbit,” Kumar added.
Chandrayaan-2, India’s second mission to the Moon, would be an advanced version of the Chandrayaan-1 launched nine years ago. This spacecraft is a composite model consisting of orbiter, lander and rover. On the involvement of industry and academic institutions, Kumar said “what we are trying to see is while we build our capability; we also make sure that whatever excess capacity we have, we are in a position to market it and use”.