Launch of 103 satellites in one rocket not aimed at record making, says ISRO chairman

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) does not consider the upcoming launch of 103 satellites on a single PSLV rocket a record-making feat. Its aim is rather to maximise the launch vehicle’s carrying capacity and returns per launch, ISRO chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar said here on Wednesday.

As many as 100 small foreign commercial satellites will ride on the PSLV-C37 apart from three Indian spacecraft. This is touted to be the largest number of satellites — albeit small ones weighing a few kilos each — going into space at the same time.

Launch tentatively in Feb.

The launch is tentatively slated for late February. The Indian ones are the 730-kg fourth satellite in the Cartosat-2 Earth observation series and two 15-kg experimental navigational ones called INS-1 and INS-2.

The bulk of the 100 client satellites is part of an Earth observation cluster and belong to a single client, Mr. Kiran Kumar said on the sidelines of Karnataka ICT Summit co-hosted by the CII, but did not give details.

“We are finalising the launch date. However, we are not looking at it like a record, we are just maximising the capability with each launch and the returns from it,” he said.

While ISRO has earlier placed 22 small satellites in space in a single launch, the record is with another space agency that has launched around 35 spacecraft at once.

In the first three months of this year, ISRO plans to launch the full-fledged and most powerful Indian booster, the GSLV-MkIII, besides a communications satellite on the GSLV-Mk2.

ISRO teams have started to look at the possibility of sending missions to Mars again, besides Venus and Jupiter but these studies are in very early stages, he said.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2020 2:29:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/Launch-of-103-satellites-in-one-rocket-not-aimed-at-record-making-says-ISRO-chairman/article17030839.ece

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