Setting a record in its space programme, India today successfully launched 20 satellites, including its earth observation Cartosat-2 series, in a single mission on board ISRO’s workhorse PSLV-C34 from the spaceport here.
In a precision launch, PSLV-C34 took off from the second launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre here, about 110 km from Chennai at 9.26 am and placed the Cartosat-2 Series and 19 others in the designated polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO) about 30 minutes later in clear skies.
The 727.5 kg Cartosat-2 series satellite will provide regular remote sensing services with its panchromatic and multispectral cameras and its imagery will be of multiple use.
Of the 19 satellites, 12 are earth imaging “Dove satellites” of the US and another American satellite. The rest are from Canada (two) and one each from Germany and Indonesia.
Two academic satellites are from Sathyabama University (Sathyabamasat) in Chennai and from the College of Engineering (Swayam) at Pune.
Use of the Cartosat-2 includes cartographic, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation, utility management such as road network monitoring and water distribution.
Also, creation of land use maps, precision study, change detection to bring out geographical and man-made features and various other Land Information System and Geographical Information System applications can be done. It is similar to the earlier Cartosat-2, 2A and 2B.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated ISRO and described today’s launch as a “monumental” accomplishment.
“20 satellites in a go! @ isro continues to break new barriers. Hearty congratulations to our scientists on the monumental accomplishment’, he said on Twitter.
ISRO Chairman A S Kiran Kumar congratulated his team for the successful launch ‘in a record time’ and said “PSLV C-34 has done its job.”
“We have the current generation of earth observation satellite of Cartosat 2 series,” he said, adding ISRO had done a “wonderful job“.
P Kunhikrishnan, Director, SDSC-SHAR, said it was a major accomplishment by PSLV in its 35th consecutive successful mission.
“PSLV has become a success symbol for ISRO and India. ISRO is adopting more and more professionalism,” he said.
D Jayakumar, Mission Director, described today’s launch as a major landmark and said the vehicle performance was “exceedingly well.”
With today’s launch of 20 satellites, PSLV beat its 2008 record when it placed in orbit 10 satellites in a single launch into various Low Earth Orbits
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