The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is gearing up for a big launch – the launch of 103 satellites under a single mission. This is going to be a feat that no other country has achieved yet. Hence the path-breaking move by ISRO is crucial for India.
About ISRO's next big launch:
1. ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C37) will carry 103 satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh in February.
2. 100 out of the total 103 satellites are foreign, including the US and Germany, while 3 belong to India.
3. S Somnath, Director of the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre of ISRO, says the space agency is making a century by launching more than 100 satellites at one go.
4. Earlier, ISRO had plans to launch 83 satellites in the last week of January out of which 80 were foreign ones. But later, 20 more satellites belonging to foreign countries were added due to which the launch was postponed.
5. The 100 satellites will be micro-small satellites and will be launched using a PSLV-C37. The weight of the payload will be 1350 kgs, of which 500-600 kgs will be the satellite's weight.
The record holders:
ISRO had launched record 20 satellites under single mission in 2016. Russia holds a record of launching highest number of satellites at 37, followed by the US space agency NASA, which has launched 29.
PM Narendra Modi's pet project:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pet South Asian satellite project will be launched in March this year. The South Asian satellite will be a part of GSAT-9, which will be launched in March this year.
The communication satellite was scheduled to be launched in December 2016, but was slightly delayed as some other satellites are to be launched before that.
Sources said talks with Afghanistan to have the country on-board for the project is in its final stages.
Envisaged as a gift to its neighbours, the project, earlier known as SAARC satellite, faced stiff resistance from Pakistan. The neighbouring country wanted it to be launched under the aegis of the South Asian regional forum. It later backed out of the project.
Apart from India, the satellite will benefit Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.