SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

ISRO launches 20 satellites The organisation surpasses its 2008 record of launching 10 satellites in a single mission  

  •  Expanding its horizons, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Wednesday launched 20 satellites through a single rocket, surpassing its 2008 record of launching 10 satellites in a single mission.
  • Besides the primary Cartosat-2 Series satellite, the PSLV C-34 rocket launched two satellites from Indian universities and 17 foreign satellites, including one for a Google company.
  • After the 48-hour countdown, the PSLV rocket lifted off from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre here at 9.25 a.m. and, some 16 minutes later, placed the Cartosat-2 Series satellite about 505 km above the Earth’s orbit. In the next 10 minutes, the remaining 19 satellites were placed in the orbits.
  • ISRO chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar announced the success of the launch. ‘A milestone’ Satish Dhawan Space Centre Director P. Kunhikrishnan termed the launch of the 20 satellites, weighing about 1,288 kg in total, a “major milestone” for the national space agency.
  • ISRO also ignited the fourth stage of the PSLV rocket twice after the separation of satellites in an experiment, scientists said. Sathyabamasat, the satellite of Sathyabama University in Chennai, the Swayam satellite of the College of Engineering in Pune, LAPAN-A3 (Indonesia), BIROS (Germany), M3MSat (Canada), SkySat Gen2-1 (USA) of Terra Bela (Google company), GHGSat-D (Canada) and 12 Dove Satellites (USA) were the other satellites that were launched.
  • The 725.5-kg Cartosat-2 series satellite would be for Earth observation and its imagery would be useful for cartographic applications, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation, and utility management like road networking, ISRO said.
  • In 2008, ISRO launched 10 satellites in a single rocket. On April 28, 2008, its PSLV-C9 rocket launched a Remote Sensing satellite CARTOSAT-2A along with Indian Mini Satellite (IMS-1) and eight nano satellites. In 2014, Russian Dnepr rocket launched a record 37 satellites in a single mission.

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Amit Singh

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