Sriharikota, February 15
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) scripted history by successfully placing a record 104 satellites, including the country’s earth observation satellite Cartosat-2 series, into the polar sun synchronous orbit using its workhorse PSLV-C37 rocket.
The PSLV-XL variant rocket standing 44.4 metres tall and weighing 320 ton tore into the morning skies at 9.28 am from SHAR in Sriharikota.
This includes three Indian nano-satellites including CartoSat 2D weighing 714 kg and INS-1A and INS-1B of 15 kg weight each.
Of the remaining satellites, 96 belong to United States and one each from Israel, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Switzerland, and United Arab Emirates.
This is the first time in the world any space agency has sent 104 satellites into space at one go. Russia’s DNEPR mission had held the record of 37 satellites launched in 2014, trailed by NASA’s 29 the year before. India put 20 in orbit on June 24, 2016.
So far ISRO took up 59 missions and was successful in launching 84 satellites of our country and 79 of foreign countries. Of the 38 launchs from Polar Satellite Launching Vehicle (PSLV) at Sriharikota in Nellore district, 37 were successfully launched. ISRO started its space missions with Aryabhatta.
PSLV-C37 has the credit of successful launches of Chandrayan, Mangalyan and many more. Only six experiments out of the ten from another launching vehicle, GSLV have become successful.
ISRO is gearing up to launch another satellite Chandrayan-2 into orbit next year. ISRO started sending satellites into orbit in 1962 and successfully launched Mangalyan in 2014.