In a first of its kind mission in its history the Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) will launch 83 new satellites into Space in one go in January, 2017. Out of these 83, 80 are foreign satellites, which are said to weigh upto 500kg, belong to Israel, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the U.S says Jitendra Singh, Minister of State of PMO in a written reply, “These international customer satellites are being launched as part of the commercial arrangement between them and Antrix Corporation Ltd, the commercial arm and PSU under the ISRO.”
The 3 Indian satellites that will be launched are Cartosat-2 series weighing 730 kg as primary payload, INS-IA and INS-1B, total weighing 30 kg. All the 83 satellites would be launched in a single rocket.
Rakesh Shashibhushan, Chairman-cum-Managing Director of the Antrix Corporation, which is the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), had told a newspaper, “The major challenge for the proposed mission is to hold the rocket in the same orbit till all the satellites are ejected. For ISRO, launch of multiple satellites at one go is not a new thing as it has done it several times in the past. ISRO will use its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle XL (PSLV-XL) rocket variant for the record launch.”
According to Shashibhushan, the total payload/weight carried off into space by the PSLV-XL rocket will be around 1,600 kg. He said some satellites belong to clients whose satellites ISRO put into orbit in the past.
Meanwhile, ISRO is conducting high-altitude tests with its own cryogenic engine that is expected to power the heavier rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mk III (GSLV Mk III). The GSLV Mk III has a capacity to carry around four tonnes of load.The rocket is expected to save precious foreign exchange for India as it pays to launch heavier satellites through foreign space agencies.