Eyeing a world record and a historic event – ISRO has announced that they will launch a record 83 satellites in one go. The payload will be delivered using ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-XL in January end.
The feat is not new for ISRO as earlier it had scripted history in June this year when it launched 20 satellites including 17 foreign payload using its workhorse PSLV-C34 from its Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota. The launched satellite was India’s Cartosat 2 series satellite meant for earth observations – rest of the payload launched were from Canada, German, Indonesia and United States.
In September they reached another landmark when they successfully completed longest ever launch mission where PSLV-C35 placed 8 satellites in 2 different orbits!
Now surpassing themselves, ISRO has planned to deliver the payload of around 1,400 kg. Out of 83, 80 satellites belong to Israel, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Switzerland and United States – weighing about 500 kg. The remaining three Indian satellites are Cartosat – 2 weighing 730 kg as primary payload and INS – IA and INS – IB weighing 30 kg.
“During the first quarter of 2017 we plan to launch a single rocket carrying 83 satellites. Most foreign satellites are nano satellites,” Rakesh Sasibhushan, chairman-cum-managing director of Antrix Corporation told IANS. Antrix Corporation is the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organization.
ISRO has had an exciting and busy 2016 considering the fact that it launched 10 Indian satellites in the whole year, three times more than the preceding year and the most ever, according to ISRO’s data.
Over the last 10 years, 38% of the satellites launched have been Indian. In those 10 years, ISRO has had 34 launches, successfully sending up 121 satellites, 75 of them foreign: 18 (24%) were from USA, 11 (15%) Canadian, 8 (11%) each from Singapore and Germany, and 6 (8%) from the UK.
Launching foreign satellites has been profitable for ISRO, as India earned 205% greater revenue in financial year 2014-15 (Rs 415.4 crore, or $62.3 million) than the previous year (Rs 136 crore, $20.4 million), and 704% more than in 2013 (Rs 51.3 crore, $7.7 million) for satellite-launch services.
Calling 2016 a “good” year, A. S. Kiran Kumar, Chairman ISRO, said that ISRO would launch at least five communication satellites in 2017. “It (launches) will be more next year, we are actually looking at almost something like five communication satellites, then many more others. Some earth observation also,” he said on the number of launches that can be expected in 2017.
Mr. Kumar also stated that the emphasis is now on building capacity. “We need more and more capacity, launch capacity. We are working toward that. Our effort is to continuously increase,” he added talking on the sidelines of the 21st Convocation of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS).
ISRO is also conducting high-altitude tests with its cryogenic engine that is expected to power the heavier rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle – Mk III (GSLV- Mk III) who’s first payload will be GSAT-19. The GSLV-Mk III has a capacity to carry around five tonnes of payload – which is a strong figure. Increasing payload capacity will mean precious foreign exchange for India as more foreign satellites can be launched.
ISRO is reportedly looking forward to developing four-tonne communication satellites that will give the same output as a six- tonner. According to BBC, foreign investors want Indian PSLV craft to carry their heavy payload – the commercial future of India’s space project could lie in that direction.
2017 is expected to be a historic year for ISRO and whole India after the successful launch of PSLV-XL and we are certain that every Indian will beam with pride after ISRO accomplishes the mission."ISRO All Set to Make History With The Launch of 83 Satellites in One Go!",