SRIHARIKOTA: The Indian Space Research Organisation on Wednesday scripted history by successfully launching a record 104 satellites, including India’s earth observation satellite, on a single rocket from the spaceport here.
This is the highest number of satellites ever launched in a single mission.
Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C37 blasted off at 9:28 am from the first launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre and first injected Cartosat-2 series satellite into orbit followed by the other 103 nano satellites, including 96 from the U.S, in a gap of about 30 minutes.
As the scientists at the Mission Control centre broke into cheers, ISRO Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar announced: “All 104 satellites successfully placed in orbit. My hearty congratulations to the entire ISRO team for the wonderful job they have done.”
Earlier, the Russian Space Agency had launched 37 satellites in one go.
ISRO had earlier launched 23 satellites in a single mission in June 2015.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Team ISRO for the successful launch.
In today’s complex mission after the end of 28-hour countdown, the PSLV-C37 injected the 714 kg Cartosat-2 series satellite followed by ISRO’s nano satellites INS-1A and INS-1B in an 505 km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO).
This was followed by launch of the other 101 nano satellites of overseas customers in blocks in a series of separations.
INS-1A and INS-1B will carry a total of four different payloads from Space Applications Centre (SAC) and Laboratory for Electro Optics Systems (LEOS) of ISRO for conducting various experiments, ISRO said.
Cartosat-2 series satellite, with a mission life of five years, will send images that would cater to coastal land use and regulation, road network monitoring, distribution of water, creation of land use maps among others
PM lauds launch
Meanwhile, ISRO chief A.S. Kiran Kumar said at the mission control centre at Sriharikota that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated the space agency team for the successful launch.
“Congratulations to @isro for the successful launch of PSLV-C37 and CARTOSAT satellite together with 103 nano satellites!,” Mr. Modi said in a tweet.
“This remarkable feat by @isro is yet another proud moment for our space scientific community and the nation. India salutes our scientists,” he said.