India launches record 20 satellites ISRO creates history

Sriharikota: India successfully put into orbit its own earth observation satellite Cartosat-2 and 19 other satellites, including one belonging to the Google company Terra Bella, USA, on Wednesday morning. With this, India successfully completed yet another multiple satellite launch in a single rocket mission. Exactly at 9.26 am, the PSLV rocket standing 44.4 metres tall and weighing 320 tons tore into the morning skies with fierce orange flames at its tail.

Gathering speed every second, the rocket raced towards the heavens amid loud cheers from ISRO officials and the media at the rocket port here. At the rocket mission control room, Indian space scientists at ISRO were glued to their computer screens watching the rocket escaping the Earth’s gravitational pull.

Soon after the launch, a beaming ISRO Chairman A S Kiran Kumar said the mission was a success and that the new-generation Cartosat was in place. The rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle’s (PSLV) main cargo was India's 725.5 kg Cartosat-2 series satellite for Earth observation with a design life of five years.
ISRO creates history, successfully launches record 20 satellites
ISRO creates history, successfully launches record 20 satellites
This satellite is similar to the earlier Cartosat-2, 2A and 2B. The other 19 satellites weighing around 560 kgs were from US, Canada, Germany and Indonesia as well as one satellite each from Chennai's Sathyabama University and College of Engineering, Pune.

The images sent by Cartosat satellite will be useful for cartographic, urban, rural, coastal land use, water distribution and other applications. According to ISRO, the 110 kg SkySat Gen2-1 belonging to Terra Bella, a Google company, is a small earth imaging satellite capable of capturing sub-metre resolution imagery and high definition video.

The Planet Lab’s Dove Satellites are also Earth imaging satellites. A total of 12 Dove satellites, each weighing 4.7 kg, were carried in this mission inside three QuadPack dispensers, ISRO said. The PSLV rocket also put into orbit the 85 kg M3MSat from Canada. The technology demonstration mission is jointly funded and managed by Defence Research and Development Canada and the Canadian Space Agency.
ISRO record launch 20 satellites
ISRO record launch 20 satellites

The other satellites launched are: 120 kg LAPSN-A3 of Indonesia, the 130 kg BIROS, from German Aerospace Centre, Germany and the 25.5 kg GHGSat-D, Canada. Just over 17 minutes into the flight the PSLV rocket ejected Cartosat at an altitude of around 515 km.

It was followed by two other Indian satellites — the 1.5 kg Sathyabamasat from Sathyabama University that would collect data on green house gases and the 1 kg Swayam satellite from College of Engineering, Pune, to provide point-to-point messaging services to the HAM radio community.

The whole mission got over in around 26 minutes. It was the first time that ISRO launched 20 satellites with one single rocket mission. In 2008, the ISRO had launched 10 satellites with the PSLV rocket.

With the success of Wednesday’s rocket mission, India has successfully launched 74 satellites for international customers.

8 Things to Know about the Record Launch of 20 Satellites
  • 1. The total weight of all 20 satellites carried onboard PSLV C-34 was about 1,288 kg.
  • 2. The 727 kg Cartosat-2 series satellite is the primary satellite in this mission.
  • 3. The 320 tonne PSLV C-34 carried 17 foreign small satellites from Canada, Indonesia, Germany and the US.
  • 4. The foreign satellites include LAPAN-A3 from Indonesia; Brios from Germany; M3MSat and GHSSat-D from Canada; SkySat Gen 2-1 and 12 Dove satellites from the United States.
  • 5. The 110 kg SkySat Gen2-1 is a small Earth imaging satellite designed and built by Terra Bella, a Google company.
  • 6. Each of the 12 Dove satellites weighs around 4.7 kg. They are earth imaging satellite developed by US-based Planet Labs.
  • 7. PSLV C-34 also carried two student satellites.
  • 8. The PSLV placed the satellites in the designated polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO) in about 30 minutes after the launch.

Via deccanchronicle

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