The Indian Space Research Organisation announced Monday it will attempt to launch a record 104 satellites on a single PSLV-C37 rocket. The launch scheduled to take place at 9:28 a.m. local time Wednesday will be carried out via a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle from the eastern Indian spaceport of Sriharikota, .
“The co-passenger satellites comprise 101 nano satellites, one each from Israel, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates and 96 from United States of America, as well as two nano satellites from India. … PSLV-C37 also carries two ISRO nano satellites (INS-1A and INS-1B), as co-passenger satellites,” the space agency said in a statement.
In addition, the PSLV-C37 will seek to place a Cartosat-2 series Earth observation satellite in a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of about 314 miles. The total weight of the payload will be roughly 3,040 pounds.
“The 101 international customer nano satellites are being launched as part of the commercial arrangements between Antrix Corporation Limited, a Government of India company under Department of Space, the commercial arm of ISRO and the international customers,” ISRO said.
The current record for the maximum number of satellites launched in a single mission is held by Russia, whose Dnepr rocket lifted off with a cluster of 37 satellites in June 2014. Prior to that, in 2013, NASA used a Minotaur 1 rocket to place 29 satellites in orbit.
The PSLV launch comes just days after the release of the Indian government’s annual budget that earmarked funds for an upcoming mission to Venus, a Mars orbiter mission, and the Aditya 1 mission, which seeks to place a spacecraft in the Lagrangian point L1 – a point of equilibrium that lies between Earth and the sun.
The mission to Venus, whose details are yet to be revealed, would be India’s first.
“India should be part of this global adventure and exploring Venus and Mars is very worthwhile since humans definitely need another habitation beyond Earth,” former ISRO chairman K. Kasturirangan told the Press Trust of India.
The launch can be watched live here from 8:50 a.m. local time Wednesday.
Source: IB Times
India successfully put a record 104 satellites from a single rocket into orbit on Wednesday in the latest triumph for its famously frugal space program.
Celebrations erupted among scientists at the southern spaceport of Sriharikota as the head of India’s Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced all the satellites had been ejected as planned.
“My hearty congratulations to the ISRO team for this success,” the agency’s director Kiran Kumar told those gathered in an observatory to track the progress of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the scientists for achieving the feat which smashes a record previously held by Russia.
“They have hit a century in space technology,” Modi said at an election rally in northern Uttar Pradesh state.
The PSLV-C37 rocket took off at 9:28am (0358 GMT) and cruised at a speed of 27,000 kilometres (16,777 miles) per hour, ejecting all the 104 satellites into orbit in around 30 minutes, according to ISRO.
The PSLV-C37 rocket’s main cargo was a 714 kilogram (1,574 pounds) satellite for Earth observation but it was also loaded with 103 smaller “nano satellites”, weighing a combined 664 kilograms. The smallest weighed only 1.1 kilogram.
The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C37, that carried over 100 of the devices into space wasn’t just carrying expensive gadgets, it was also equipped with a camera to document the deployment, and ISRO just published that video for us all to enjoy.
A short video showcases the launch and ascent of the rocket before showing off its efficient and seemingly flawless deployment of 104 satellites from a handful of countries, including the US. Of the satellites included in the launch, 96 came from the United States, and 88 of those came from Earth imaging startup Planet.
Video by ISRO (Youtube)