ISRO launches 20 satellites all at once!
The Dollar Business
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched a record of 20 satellites in a single mission from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C-34 (PSLV C-34) has launched 20 satellites including 17 foreign payloads, from US, Germany, Canada and Indonesia. The country’s earth observation-satellite is among the satellites of Google’s Terra Bella’s SkySat Gen2, former NASA employee’s Planet Labs Dove Satellites and 2 satellites made by the students of Sathyabhama Univ, Chennai and College of Engineering Pune. The rocket with the satellite weighs 1288 kg and was launched into orbit at 9.26am. This is considered to be the biggest ever mission for ISRO!
The launching of 20 satellites is a demonstration of ISRO's capability to produce and launch low-cost satellites giving commercial spaceflight companies of Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk a run for their money. India made the world sit up and notice when ISRO launched a low-cost satellite to orbit Mars in 2014, becoming the fourth space agency to reach the red planet. Speaking on the launching of 20 satellites today by ISRO, Prof SN Hassan, Dept of Astronomy, Osmania Univ, who is on deputation to the Central University as Dean School of Sciences, told the Dollar Business correspondent on phone that, “India has made the world understand that it can build satellites and launch satellites on a low cost. Satellite launching isn’t a costly affair neither is satellite building as students of two universities in India have proved their merit.”
The PSLV C-34 is carrying the country's latest earth observation satellite called Cartosat-2 Series with 19 other co-passenger satellites. The 48-hour launch countdown began on Monday and ISRO is satisfied with the progress. Prof Hassan said India’s latest earth observation satellite will send images related to cartography, trace the movement of cyclones, help in predicting earthquakes, improve communication, water distribution, rural and urban land use and other important applications.
Google’s 110-kg SkySatGen 2-1 is a tiny earth-imaging satellite, equipped to capture sub-meter resolution imagery and high definition video and the Indian University students built satellites will collect data on greenhouse gases and also send point to point messaging services to help HAM radio users.
Revenue-wise, the figures between 2013 and 2015 show that the number of foreign satellites carried into space by Indian Space Research Organisation rockets has increased dramatically. The commercial arm of ISRO, Antrix Corporation Limited said that there has been a proportionate increase in revenue earnings from Euro 6.5 million in 2013 to Euro 55.5 million in 2015 taking the total forex earnings of the Indian space agency to Euro 80.6 million. ISRO has been approached by nine countries to launch 28 satellites in space.