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ISRO Setting a Global Benchmark through Launching 104 Satellites at Once

Story by: Deepanker Hemnani

Through heeding efforts to create an emblem of innovation and hard work, The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is on the brisk of carving its name in the record books through sending 104 satellites into the orbit on its PSLV-C37 rocket on February 15, 2017.

Undoubtedly, this is a step which can be stated as the ‘initiative of the future’ as no other space agency has launched such a large number of satellites on a single flight. Apparently, ISRO’s PSLV also launched 20 satellites in 2016; however Russia’s Dnepr launcher holds the record for lifting 37 satellites to orbit in June 2014.

Who’s on Board?

Out of the 104 satellites being hoarded on the PSLV, only three of them are Indian satellites. The PSLV will carry a main remote-sensing satellite in the Cartosat-2 series and two small spacecraft, all for ISRO, and 101 small foreign commercial satellites. Out of the big number, 88 of the ‘cubeseats’ have been booked by a single U.S Earth imaging company.

The main passenger on PSLV-C37 will be the fourth in the Cartosat-2 series, a very high resolution Earth observation satellite of about 650 kg, and occupies roughly half the space in the launch vehicle. It will carry two more Indian nano satellites, INS-1A and INS-1B, each weighing about 10 kg.

The 88 cubeseats are part of Planet’s earth observation constellation of 100 satellites. They weigh around 5 kg each and are called ‘Doves’ or Flock 3p. For California-based Planet, too, it will be the record largest number of cubeseats to be flown in a single launch, according to one of its executives.

Recreating History

 Since September 2015, the PSLV has launched 18 small U.S. earth imaging satellites in a total of 79 foreign spacecraft — which earns it some revenue and an increasing global market share. It’s on a spree to create new benchmarks in the space regime and is on a boom to transform it as an independent satellite launching platform for individual organizations on a global level.




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