On Friday, India will launch its 100th satellite into space along with 30 other satellites. Twenty eight satellites from 6 other Countries are also included and the satellites will be launched at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
The Director of the Indian Space Research Organisations’ (ISRO) Satellite Centre, M. Annadurai said, “Of the three Indian spacecraft being launched on January 12, the 100 Kg microsatellite will be the 100th that will be ejected out of the rocket last into the Earth’s orbit.” The two other Indian satellites are 710 Kg Cartosat in 2 series for earth observation and a 5 Kg nanosatellite. Annadurai further added, “With these three satellites, ISRO would have sent 100 satellites into space. We are all eagerly waiting for that. It will be a maiden century.”
The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) will be ISRO’s 40th space mission. The PSLV C40 will carry 3 microsatellites and 25 nanosatellites along with Indian satellites. The 28 satellites belong to Canada, Finland, France, South Korea and the U.S. It is said the total weight of the 31 satellites is around 1,323 Kg.
The PSLV C40 gears up for the launch after a similar rocket failed to deliver India’s eighth navigation satellite. On the 31st of August last year, the PSLV was on its way to the Earth’s lower orbit when the heat shield failed to separate leading to a loss of Rs. 250 crore and a failed mission.
Annadurai said, “The PSLV had a very successful run up to its 39th mission (PSLV-C39), which was a setback as the heat shield failed to separate.” He further added the ISRO held tests to ensure the issue does not occur again. Annadurai said, “We have studied in detail as to what could have gone wrong and are making sure it does not repeat. With PSLV-C40, we are back in the game.”
The Cartosat, an observational satellite will transfer high quality images for cartographic, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation and utility management like the road network monitoring. ISRO plans on launching Chandrayaan 2, its second lunar mission to the moon. It will have an orbiter, lander and rover for the first time. The ISRO plans to have at least one launch a month in 2018.