Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Wednesday said that with the launch of 103 satellites under single mission it aims at achieving maximise capability with each launch. It also said that its aim is not to set a record.
ISRO’s workhorse PSLV-C37 rocket carrying no less than 103 satellites will be launched in the first week of February. 100 out of the 103 satellites are foreign, while only 3 are Indian.
"We are not looking at it as a record or anything. We are just trying to maximise our capability with each launch and trying to utilise that launch for the ability it has got and get the maximum in return," ISRO Chairman A S Kiran Kumar said.
Speaking at Karnataka ICT Summit 2017, Kumar said that the 103 satellites are actually constellation.
"They are all actually a constellation, they are getting into a constellation of satellites providing observation of earth," Kumar said in response to a query on the sidelines of Karnataka ICT Summit 2017.
Cartosat-2 series, weighing 730 kg as primary payload, INS-IA and INS-1B, weighing 30 kg are the three Indian satellites.
An ISRO official said that earlier the space agency was to launch 83 satellites in the last week of January. Out of 83, 80 satellites were foreign. But 20 more foreign satellites were later added, because of which the launch was delayed by a week.
ISRO is working on carrying out frequent satellite launches and make use of each launch or maximise the capability of the launch vehicle, said Kumar.
"The next one is going to carry a number of satellites from various companies along with our own Cartosat-2 series satellite and immediately following that we have GSLV Mark III and Mark II.... In the first three months that's what we are targeting, but beyond that we are trying to work for almost one launch a month," he said.
"The prime driver for all of this is to increase th capacity. Though we have the number of satellites in operation, we require many more for providing the necessary services that is needed," he added.
ISRO is currently carrying out experiments for its second moon mission and its Mars mission has been a success. The space agency said another mission to Mars, Venus and Jupiter are on the horizon and studies are underway.
"As we are progressing, we need to look at long-term. So what we are looking beyond Chandrayan-2, for which we are already working on an approved programme," Kumar said.
"Beyond that, Mars second mission and Venus mission are all on the horizon, we have to go through the various studies and then formulate, get the approval and move. Right now, they are all in the study phase," he added.
Tests for hazard avoidance for Chandrayaan-2 are being conducted by ISRO as it lands its facility in Challakere in Chitradurga district of Karnataka, where simulated lunar craters have been created to evaluate the performance of the system.
A partnership agreement in satellite launch technology was on Monday signed by the ISRO Chairman and French Space agency (CNES) President Jean-Yves Le Gall in the presence of visiting French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Marc Ayrault.
To a question on the agreement, Kumar said "Currently we are working with them on Oceansat-3... And then we are working for a future payload, on an infrared imaging sensor."
"We are also looking at possibilities of working with them in various areas of future developments of satellites, launch vehicles," he added.
ISRO in the past had worked with CNES on sounding rockets, SARAL satellites programme and had also launched satellites for them.