ISRO created a world record with the successful launch of 104 satellites in one go from a single rocket on Wednesday at 10:30 am; a feat that has not been achieved by any. The country that comes second is Russia, who had launched 37 satellites in one single go, something it had achieved in 2014 using a modified intercontinental ballistic missile. So Russia remains way behind in terms of the number of satellites launched at the same time, followed by USA’s NASA which has launched 29. And while there are talks about India’s record being broken, it seems highly unlikely that any other country would plan to attempt such a feat in the future. This was only the 15th space mission the ISRO has conducted and has had an extremely good success rate as none of its programmes has failed since 2010. This was India’s first space mission of 2017 and the most complicated one yet, considering the sheer number of satellites it carried.
Today’s satellite launch will go on to be k own as one of the most successful space programmes ever devised and implemented by mankind. Of the 104 satellites that go into space, the PSLV-C37 rocket also carries a Cartosat-2 satellite which will be used to produce high-resolution images of the India. This will help in security and warn us against natural disasters. The XL version of the PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) that was used on Wednesday for the satellite launch is known to have a 100% success rate. It had earlier been used in India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) after it had debuted in 2008 in India’s first attempt to reach moon, Chandrayan-I. It must also be noted that the launch countdown of 28 hours was the shortest in all the PSLV missions so far.
India had earlier made a national record in June 2016 after it had successfully rocketed 2o satellites at one go, including 13 from the United States of America. The PSLV-XL carried the Cartosat 2 for earth observation. It weighed 714 kg. Add the 103 nanosatellites into the mix and the entire launch carried by the PSLV-XL had a satellite mass of about 1,378 kg. India has received widespread recognition for the success of its space programmes such as the Chandrayan and Mission Mars. The ISRO has managed to conjure up some of the most productive missions which have also been cost-effective as compared to our western counterparts.
It is true that India was late according to global standards, in putting its foot in space and wander amongst the vastness of the universe, but the success rate and the achievements it has pulled off in the last few years with the Chandrayan and Mission Mars have put India right up to the ladder with the elites. India might not yet be par with the NASA or Roscosmos, but it surely is catching up and it is doing so at a good velocity. Meanwhile, the NASA and Roscomos have been facing stagnant and often reduced budgets from their respective governments, whereas the Indian government has been actively promoting and funding the space missions.