The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has added 20 satellites into orbit in a single mission. They used their Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C34 to achieve this.
Out of 20 satellites, 17 foreign satellites are from the US, Canada, Germany and Indonesia. Other two satellites are India’s earth observation satellite, Cartosat-2 Series.
“The PSLV rocket has done its job. We have current generation Cartosat satellite”. A.S.Kiran Kumar, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) said soon after the launch.
“One of the main aspects of the launch is the shutting down and the restarting of the rocket’s fourth stage twice. This time, we did as a trial-restarting of the engine. We did a trail in an earlier PSLV rocket,” he said.
This was the 36th flight of the PSLV and the 34th successful launch in a row.
According to ISRO, the 110 kg SkySat Gen2-1 belonging to Terra Bella. It is a small earth imaging satellite capable of capturing sub-metre resolution imagery and high definition video.
The rocket’s main cargo is India’s 725.5 kg Cartosat-2 series satellite for earth observation. This satellite is like the earlier Cartosat-2, 2A and 2B. The images sent by Cartosat satellite will be useful for cartographic, urban, rural, coastal land use, water distribution and other applications.
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Chennai’s Sathyabama University and College of Engineering, Pune have also sent up one satellite each with PSLV-C34.
The entire mission was over in 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.
This is the biggest single space mission for India. Only, NASA with 29 satellites in 2013, and Russia with 33 satellites in 2014, have had bigger single launches.
With the success of Wednesday’s rocket mission, India has successfully launched 74 satellites for international customers.