As per the latest reports, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully launched 31 satellites in a single mission. On Friday, Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C40), carrying weather observation satellite Cartosat-2 series and 30 other satellites blasted off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. The outgoing ISRO chief A S Kiran Kumar announced the success of the launch and dedicated the mission as a New Year gift to the country. Kiran Kumar further said, “It is an excellent mission. Cartosat’s performance has been so far satisfactory.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated ISRO’s scientists for the successful mission. He tweeted, “This success in the New Year will bring benefits of the country’s rapid strides in space technology to our citizens, farmers, fishermen, etc.” By launching the Cartosat-2 series satellite into space, ISRO achieved a milestone as it was the 100th satellite launched by the space organization. Out of the 31 satellites that were deployed in Earth’s orbits, 28 satellites were of foreign countries consisting of Canada, France, South Korea, and the UK. The rest 3 are Indian satellites which include the Cartosat-2 Series, a Micro satellite, and a Nano satellite.
The PSLV rocket carrying the 31 satellites blasted off from the launch pad sharp at 9:28 am, and about 17 minutes after the lift-off, the rocket released the payload into a polar synchronous orbit at a height of around 510km. The 31 satellite payload weighs 710kg. The success of the PSLV-40 launch was crucial for ISRO as four months ago, the PSLV-39 rocket carrying a navigation satellite IRNSS-1H, had failed due to a technical fault. The fault had occurred during the final leg of the launch sequence. Before the PSLV-C39 failure, ISRO had consecutively launched 39 successful missions of PSLV.
The latest PSLV-C40 launch marked the 40th successful launch mission of ISRO’s PSLV rockets, as informed by project director R Hutton. Another interesting thing about the latest mission is that the 31 satellites were deployed successfully in two different orbits, making it one of the longest missions. First, a set 30 satellites including the Cartosat-2 series, were deployed at an altitude of 505km above the earth. Then, after around one hour and 45 minutes, the 31st satellite- ISRO’s Microsat- was deployed in another orbit at an altitude of 359km. The weather observation satellite Cartosat-2 series is aimed at providing high-resolution scene-specific spot imageries to be used for cartographic applications.