ISRO makes history, launches record 104 satellites into orbit successfully
Indian space agency ISRO created history on Wednesday morning by successfully putting a record 104 satellites, including the country’s own Cartosat-2 earth observation satellite, into orbit from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
“One hundred and four satellites have been put into orbit,” Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar said following the launch, congratulating the space agency’s team on its success.
At exactly 9.28 am, the PSLV-XL variant rocket standing 44.4 metres tall and weighing 320 ton tore into the morning skies. The rocket, gathering speed every second, raced towards the skies amidst the cheers of the ISRO officials and the media team assembled there.
At the rocket mission control room, ISRO scientists were glued to their computer screens watching the rocket escaping the earth’s gravitational pull.
Around 28 minutes into the flight, the rocket completed its birth ‘karma’ slinging all the 104 satellites into their intended orbits as per the scheduled sequence.
The PSLV rocket is a four stage rocket alternatively powered by solid and liquid fuel.
India’s own Cartosat-2 satellite weighs 714 kg and has a mission life of five years.
“The Cartosat satellite is the fourth one in the Cartosat-2 series of earth observation satellites. Already three are in the orbit and two more will be launched. Once all the six Cartosat-2 series satellites are launched the Cartosat-3 series would begin,” an ISRO official told IANS, preferring anonymity.
The co-passenger satellites comprised 101 nano satellites, one each from Israel, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UAE and 96 from the US, as well as two nano satellites from India.
The total weight of all the satellites carried on-board is about 1,378 kg.
Out of the total 226 satellites launched by ISRO with its PSLV rocket, 179 satellites were for foreign customers, said Project Director Jayakumar.
According to P. Kunhikrishnan, Director of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) three more launch missions are slated this year.
Multiple satellite launches with a PSLV rocket is not new for ISRO, having launched 20 satellites on June 22, 2016. However, on Wednesday, ISRO surpassed the 37 satellites launch record set in June 19, 2014 by Russia’s Dnepr.
With IANS inputs