Srihari Kota: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Wednesday created history by injecting 104 satellites, the highest number of satellites launched in a single mission anywhere in the world so far.
In its 39th flight, the PSLV–C37 rocket lifted-off from the first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota at 9.28 a.m. After a flight of 29 minutes, the rocket placed primary satellite Cartosat-2 and 103 co-passenger nano-satellites into their designated orbits. The Russian Space Agency so far holding the record for most satellites as it launched 37 satellites in a single rocket in 2014. Previously, Isro had launched 20 satellites in a single mission in June 2016. A beaming ISRO Chairman AS Kiran Kumar congratulated the team involved in the successful launch. He said many more exiting launches are on the pipeline this year.
The co-passenger satellites placed in the orbit comprise 101 international customer nano satellites from Israel, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Switzerland, UAE and USA. Two nanosatellites are from India. The total weight of the satellites carried onboard PSLV-C37 is about 1,378 kg.
The primary satellite Cartosat-2 is similar to the earlier four satellites of the Cartosat-2 series. The imagery will be useful for coastal land use and regulation and utility management like road network monitoring, water distribution, the creation of land use maps and change detection to bring out geographical and manmade features.
It will be also useful in various other Land Information System (LIS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) applications. Among the 101 foreign nano satellites, 96 are from the US and other five are from Israel, Kazakhstan, The Netherlands, Switzerland and UAE.
Out of the 96 satellites from US, 88 Dove satellites built by US-based company Planet Inc. These nanosatellites are a fleet of remote sensing satellites that will image the entire Earth every day for commercial, environmental and humanitarian purposes.
In case of the balance eight, they are LEMUR satellites from the US and are meant for providing vessel tracking using Automatic Identification System (AIS), besides carrying out weather measurement using GPS Radio Occultation.
PSLV also carried two nano satellites of Isro – INS-1A and INS-1B. The INS-1A nanosatellite carrying experimental payloads to measure the bidirectional reflectance distribution function of Earth surface and Single Event Upset Monitor which will monitor the upsets due to the high energy radiation. INS-1B also carrying two payloads one is a remote sensing colour camera with a novel lens assembly and Earth Exosphere Lyman Alpha Analyser (EELA).