It is a proud moment for the entire nation, as the Indian Space Research Organization, ISRO creates a world record in the history of space science by sending 104 satellites in a single rocket. After a 28-hour countdown that started on 14th Feb 2017, the rocket carrying 104 satellites was successfully launched from the spaceport of Sriharikota which 125km from Chennai.
The satellites carried by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C37, on its 39th mission, took off this morning at 9:28 AM. The Launch vehicle carried 104 satellites, of which 101 belong to international customers. The 714 kg Cartosat-2 series satellite for earth observation was launched by the PSLV, along with 103 satellites, together weighing about 664 kg at lift-off into polar Sun Synchronous Orbit, which is about 520 km from Earth. The entire launch, which is a four stage mission, would last for 28 minutes. The first satellite that would be released in the 17th minute is India’s high-resolution Cartosat-2 series satellite made with the aim to monitor the activities of India’s combative neighbors. Following this satellite, two Indian nano-satellites INS-1A and INS-1B carrying four different payloads from Space Applications Centre (SAC) and Laboratory for Electro Optics Systems (LEOS) of ISRO would be placed in their orbits. Later 101 co-passenger satellites of which 96 belong to USA and 5 are from International customers of ISRO – Israel, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, Kazakhastan, and Switzerland.
The primary satellite, Cartosat-2, which has a mission life of 5 years, would provide remote sensing services soon after coming into operation. It would send images from space that would be of great use in road network monitoring, coastal land use and regulation, distribution of water and many other such significant purposes. The nanosatellites were INS-1A and INS-1B were developed to accompany bigger satellites on PSLV and to provide an opportunity for ISRO technology demonstration payloads. The INS-1A carries the Surface Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function Radiometer and the INS-1B carries the Earth Exosphere Lyman Alpha Analyzer as payloads.
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), was formed in 1969. It superseded the erstwhile INCOSPAR with a vision to harness the space technology for national development. Headquartered in Bangalore, it is managed by the Department of Space, which reports to the Prime Minister. With the one of the largest fleet of communication satellites and remote sensing satellites that caters to the demand for fast and reliable communication and earth observation, ISRO is taking the country forward in the field of space science research and planetary exploration. ISRO develops and delivers application specific satellite products and tools including broadcasts, communications, weather forecasts, disaster management tools, Geographic Information Systems, cartography, navigation, telemedicine, dedicated distance education satellites being some of them. The milestones achieved by ISRO in the past few decades have brought accolades to the country and has portrayed India as a superpower in the field of space science research.