104 Satellites in a single launch!

The PSLV Launches with 104 satellites (Source: ISRO)

There is a very old Indian saying “एक तीर दो निशाने” which literally translates into ” two targets with one arrow “. The Indian Space Research Organisation shot 104 with a single rocket. This doesn’t happen everyday and will not happen for a very long time, unless ISRO decides to do this again. I am very confident about what I am writing because the last such attempt was short by 67 satellites (that’s Jupiter’s total no of satellites as of today) when 37 satellites were launched with a single rocket. ISRO, has clearly dwarfed the might of the Russian space program.

This has become a great achievement in space history. We as humans have learned to difficult jobs with finesse. As a civilisation we have broadened our understanding of the Universe and by studying the laws of physics, we have not only started studying our current self, but are also recording the progress.

CARTOSAT is an extension to an already comprehensive remote sensing program run by the government of India. Using these technologies, we have been able to appreciate the forces of nature better and have given benefit to the citizens of India and neighbouring countries with the help of the important data we collect. Farmers know weather movements better than before and can sow seeds at the right time and reap crops when the time is right. Tsunami and cyclone warnings are issued in advance which saves thousands of lives and livestock every year. For a country where agriculture is still a prime occupation and source of income, this has proven to be a boon.

The rocket used to launch the satellites is of the PSLV series which launches these satellites at speeds close to 8km/s and does its job in less than 10 minutes. The total weight of all the satellites combined is equal to a family car. The rest of the satellites comprised of101 foreign nano satellites from the US, Israel, UAE, Netherlands, Kazakhstan and Switzerland and two nano satellites of India.

This cluster included 96 satellites from a private company which chose ISRO over any other organisation in the world due to it’s technical finesse. Each of these satellites need to have their own orbit and cannot intrude into any other satellites orbit. This is not an easy job. Most countries struggle to get a single rocket in the Low Earth Orbit and release a satellite. This is also the reason that ANTRIX, the commercial wing of the ISRO is considered to be the foremost choice for most of the countries worldwide. Even countries like Canada (neighbours to USA and all NASA launchpads) choose India over USA because we have an excellent track record and we are much cheaper than the others. India is the only country in the world which has sent probes both to the moon and mars and both were sent in single attempts. Sure we came late to the party, but isn’t that the fashionable thing to do? Time and again, we have proven our mettle with indigenous technologies and precise execution within the allotted budget and time.

During the 1999 war with Pakistan, India was denied GPS and remote satellite support from the USA which resulted in India conceptualising and actualising the NAVIC system (we have our own GPS) and now we have the CARTOSAT system which completes our remote sensing array. This has put India in a very strong position worldwide as the country with the most efficient space program.

File Image : CARTOSAT 2B

You can find more about CARTOSAT by clicking HERE

You can find more about the PSLV rocket by clicking HERE and HERE

Rishabh Jain

I am an Amateur Astronomer with keen interest in Astrophotography and Visual observations.I have experience in science communication and secondary school education in Astronomy. I have reached over 25,000 students which doing the same. I target making education reachable to the masses through the understanding of social and anthropological structures. My interests include long distance travelling, enjoying music and writing poetry.

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