The Indian Space Agency ISRO is all set to make a world record by launching the most number of satellites in one go. As per the reports, ISRO is gearing up for launching 104 satellites on February 15, a feat which no space agency across the globe has achieved. The total of 104 satellites consists of 101 foreign satellites and three satellites from India.
Scientists at ISRO will use their most reliable rocket — PSLV-C37 to lift up the satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh and complete the milestone next month.
“We are making a century by launching over 100 satellites at one go,” S. Somnath, Director of the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), told a plenary session on the second day of the ongoing Indian Science Congress.
Dr. K. Sivan, Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram, explained how the Indian space agency is going to place satellites into orbit and said the every satellite will be separated in different angle and at different time from the launch vehicle in order to prevent collision between satellites.
The satellite separated from the launch vehicle will have a relative velocity of one metre per second. So after 1,000 seconds the distance between a satellite and the rocket will be 1,000 metres. “The satellite that gets launched first will move at a relatively faster velocity than the next satellite that is launched. Due to different relative velocities, the distance between the satellites will increases continuously but the orbit will be the same,” he said.
“When the vehicle reaches the orbital condition, we will wait for the disturbances to die down before the preparation for separation begins,” Dr. Sivan explained. At an orbital altitude of around 500 km, it would take the vehicle 90 minutes to complete one orbit. “So we have sufficient time to launch all the 103 satellites,” he added.
Previously The TeCake reported that ISRO was about to launch 83 satellites in one go which included 80 foreign satellites and three Indian satellites in January. However, the Indian space agency has made addition of 21 more foriegn satellites and have postponed the launch for a month.
“These international customer satellites are being launched as part of the commercial arrangement between them and Antrix Corporation Ltd., the commercial arm and PSU under the ISRO,” Jitendra Singh in Loksabha last month.
All the 101 foreign satellites belong to Israel, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Switzerland, and the US. The collective weight of foreign satellites will be nearly 500kg. The three Indian satellites are Cartosat-2 series weighing 730 kg as primary payload, INS-IA and INS-1B, totally weighing 30 kg.
ISRO made its best attempt in June last year when it launched 20 satellites using PSLV-C34 rocket from Sriharikota. ISRO has also launched 10 satellites simultaneously back in 2008.
Till date, ISRO has launched over 50 foreign satellites. By lifting up 101 foreign satellites in one go, Indian space agency will improve its own record for lifting the maximum number of foreign satellites. In addition, Indian space agency will hit the century of foreign satellite launches.
ISRO chief had marked 2016 as a good year for India’s space exploration missions and hopes 2017 to be even better. He revealed that ISRO is planning to launch at least five communication satellites along with many more earth observatories in 2017. In addition, scientists are planning to use GSLV Mark III and then Mark II for more than one launch in order to test the launching of satellites with heavy payloads.
As per the schedule, we can expect three launches in first three months of the new year including the launch of 104 satellites in one go.
“GSAT-17 is having another 48 transponders, then there is a SAARC satellite which will have about 12 transponders, then we are getting into the next generation GSAT-11 and GSAT-19. We are trying to do something like 14-gigabyte and 90-gigabyte type of thing- multi beam satellites,” said ISRO chief on transponder augmentation.
ISRO has gained reputation in International space market after the success of iconic Mangalyaan mission and successful GSLV launch which enabled Indian space agency to lift up heavier payload. Now, foreign space agencies are seeking help of ISRO for their satellite launches. Space agencies like NASA are also willing to collaborate with ISRO for future space missions.
While commenting on the Chandrayaan 2– India’s second lunar mission, Kiran said that scientists are testing hazard avoidance of the probe which will enable the safe landing on the lunar surface. Verification of safe landing is crucial as it might completely destroy million dollars mission.
After the success of Mangalyaan mission, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to send second Mars Orbiter to the Red Planet which will give new insights of Martian surface and atmosphere. As per the reports, the Indian Space agency is seeking permissions to conduct the second Mars Orbiter Mission.