Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is all set up to create a new world record by launching as many as 104 satellites under the much-awaited single mission next week. The space agency has recently confirmed that the launch will take place on February 15.
As reported earlier, 101 out of these 104 satellites belong to foreign countries, while 3 are Indian. ISRO’s most efficient launcher rocket ‘PSLV-C37’ will carry all the satellites and will put them in the lower orbit of the Earth. The satellites will study the planet and its activities.
“We want to make optimum use of our capacity. We are launching our three satellites. One is of 730 kgs while other two are 19 kgs each. We had additional space of 600 kgs. So we decided to accommodate 101 satellites,” ISRO chairman A S Kiran Kumar said.
ISRO has gone the smart way for this mega launch. How? Well, the space agency will cut down or recover half of the cost of the mission by launching maximum number of satellites. However, Kumar did not reveal how much exactly the mission will cost and what will be saved, but said, “Roughly half of our cost will be covered by the foreign satellites we are launching.”
With the launch of 104 satellites simultaneously, ISRO looks forward to create a new world record, a feat that no other country in the world has achieved so far.
The official paper of ISRO states that only three of the 104 earth-surveillance satellites belong to India. While 88 spaceships are from US, rest of the 31 belong to foreign countries like Germany, Israel, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.
As per schedule, the satellites will be blasted off from Earth on February 15 at around 9 am from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
ISRO’s home-grown Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle – ‘PSLV-C37’ – will be used for the launch of 104 satellites.
The satellites and the PSLV-C37 rocket together will weigh around 1500 kilograms. The launch of hundreds of satellites faces various complexities and different angles are required for each satellite. Hence, to avoid any hurdles, ISRO has designed a specific launch stratagem to the launch.
“A 320-tonne launcher rocket – PSLV-C37 (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) will mark the discharge of the satellites with a collective weight of 1,500 kg. It also includes a Cartosat-2D which weights 650kg and two nano-satellites called INS-1A and INS-1B, weighing 15 kg each.
Similarly, the combined mass of 100 foreign micro-satellites will be 820 kg in total,” said an official of ISRO.
If ISRO successfully conducts the mega-launch mission, then it will become the only space agency to launch the highest number of satellites at one go. Russia currently holds the record of launching greater number of satellites with the launch of 77 spaceships at single go, which it carried out on June 19, 2014.
Prior to Russia, NASA had created history by launching 29 satellites at one go on November 19, 2013.