On this coming February, ISRO is going to again increase nation’s pride by setting a world record of launching 103 satellites, out of which 3 will be Indian, at its Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. Remaining 100 satellites belong to foreign countries that will be launched up through ISRO’s PSLV-C37 workhorse rocket.
With this launch, ISRO is going to beat its own previous record of launching 20 satellites, one Cartosat-2 series satellite and 19 co-passenger satellites, at one go on June of last year. Earlier ISRO has eyed to launch 83 satellites which got delayed due to the addition of 20 more foreign satellites.
According to S. Somnath, the Director of Liquid Propulsion Systems Center of the ISRO, the total weight that PSLV-C37 rocket will carry to space will be of 1,350Kgs out of which its own weight will be around 500 to 600kgs. Though the total number of participating countries has not been revealed yet but if sources are to be believed the major players will be from countries like USA, France, Switzerland, Israel, Kazakhstan, Germany and Netherland.
Three Indian satellites that are going to be launched are INS-1A, INS-1B and another one from Cartosat-2 Series. Designed on a primary payload of 730Kg, Carosat-2 which is second of its series, first being launched in 10th January 2007, will focus on studying cartography in India.
ISRO is also launching two nano satellites namely INS-1A and INS-1B which will be having a weight of 10 kg each with a payload mass of 5 kg. The main purpose of these satellites is technology demonstration and they will have a project lifetime of 6 months.
In 2014, Russia inked the page of history by launching 37 satellites through its own spacecraft DNEPR. In this category, the 2nd position is held by US by deploying 29 satellites at one go.
No previous mission of ISRO had been exercised on such a higher scale as there will be six additional straps on boosters. On its previous mission of PSLV series, onboard cameras were installed on PSLV-C36 rocket to capture the airlift process. Though nothing has been disclosed clearly, PSLV-C37 is also expected to be configured with such onboard cameras.
In its last mission, PSLV C-36 had carried ResourceSat-2A to higher orbit than used by cubesats and microsatellites on December 7 with no extra co-passengers within. It is also worth noting that there will be no other PSLV launches till PSLV-C37 project gets a successful launch off in February.