Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully proved the lines of Louis D. Brandeis as “There are no shortcuts in evolution”. Today, ISRO made history by launching 104 satellites through its workhorse rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C37) at one go from the first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
ISRO has done it with its 320 tonne rocket PSLV-C37 which launched all 104 satellites with the combined weight of 1500 kg out of which 650 kg weight comprises of sensing Cartosat – 2 and 2 nano satellites (1A and 1B) weighing 15 kg each. The launch of PSLV-C37 was scheduled at 09:28 A.M. IST and when count became zero , it tore into the sky breaking free of the earth’s gravitational pull with a growl and successfully launched all satellites in their respective sun – synchronous orbits, about 500 km above the earth.
Out of 104 satellites, 88 satellites are from U.S. which are CubeSat type weighing 5 kgs each. CubeSat is a standard platform to make satellites which is developed by Universities in US. 3 satellites are from India from the Cartosat series and the remaining are from Israel, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Switzerland and United Arab Emirates. The PSLV-C37 rocket is also carrying a Cartosat-2 series satellite that will be used for producing high-resolution images of the Indian landmass.
The History of PSLV & ISRO
The history of rockets goes back to 1780 when the rockets were successfully used by Tipu Sultan army, known as “Mysore Rockets”. On 10th August, 1979, Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-3) maiden attempt was made but that went in vain. Though despite of its failure, the second SLV-3 managed to put into orbit of a Rohini satellite. The SLV-3 was successfully launched from Sriharikota base facilitating India to become the sixth nation to join the exclusive club of space firing nations. The success made more advanced launches where Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV), hugely successful Polar satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV). The first flight of PSLV took place on 20th September, 1993 was unsuccessful. But later PSLV’s first operational flight on 27th September, 1997 made a fourth stage underperform and used its own propellant to enter the correct orbit. PSLV-C2 was launched on 26th May, 1999 used multiple satellites in a single flight. PSLV-C5 launched on 18th October, 2003 made a huge success by cementing the position of PSLV flights as the workhorse launch vehicle. For the last 20 years, PSLV has launched over 40 satellites for 19 countries. PSLV-C34 mission took place on 23rd June, 2016 launched a total of 20 satellites at one go. All the 20 satellites were control descended and had engines to allow the control descend.
And what people said…..
“We are not looking at it as a record or anything. We are just trying to maximise our capability with each launch for the ability it has got and get maximum in return” was said by Mr. A. S. Kiran Kumar. This mission has benefitted ISRO as it will recover half the budget of mission from the foreign countries whose satellites it will launch. Also, this Indian Space Mission has earned more than $100 millions. SAARC countries except Pakistan gave consent for South Asian Satellite Project being initiated by Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi. India will become the first country to launch highest number of satellites in a single launch by degrading the highest satellite launch record set by Russia in 2014 with a launch of 37 satellites together. The launch will be a major feat in country’s space history as no exercise on this scale has been attempted before.
Finally, it became a moment of proud for India as well as the Space Agency The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C37 is the star of what has been described as an incredible step for the country’s space programme.The countdown began 28 hours ago, says the Indian Space Research Organisation. As the scientists at the Mission Control centre broke into cheers, ISRO Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar announced: “All 104 satellites successfully placed in orbit. My hearty congratulations to the entire ISRO team for the wonderful job they have done.”
The article is complied by inputs from Team Positive India comprising of Kaminee Singh, Neeraj, Ipsa Arora and Gopika Krishnan