Indian Space Research Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to break a new world record by launching 104 satellites through its workhorse rocket PSLV-C37. With this launch, ISRO will be able to recover half of the total cost used for the launch of 104 satellites.
ISRO will launch PSLV-C37 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. Earlier the space agency has earned more than USD 100 million by launching foreign satellites. It also has achieved mastery on launching smaller satellites.
"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.
"Roughly half of our cost will be recovered by the foreign satellites we are launching," he said, without revealing the exact amount ISRO will earn from foreign customers.
Kumar said ISRO is at present doing tests on its lander for Chandrayaan 2 at its facility in Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu and Challakere in Karnataka.
"It is an indigenous development and tests are on. It's a control descend. So it has engines that allow a control descend," Kumar said.
Chandryaan 2 mission seeks to make a landing on the moon.
The ISRO said that all SAARC countries, except Pakistan, have given their consent for the South Asian satellites project envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as "India's gift to its neighbours".
Kumar said that the manned mission project is "not a top priority" for the ISRO, as he emphasised on enhancing space infrastructure.
Earlier, ISRO has successfully launched record by launching 20 satellites at one go. The highest number of satellites launched in a single mission is 37, a record that Russia set in 2014. The US space agency NASA launched 29.