India made a celestial history as the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched its 100th satellite 'Cartosat-2 Series' along with 30 others in a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C40) from its spaceport of Sriharikota on Friday. The launch of 31 satellites, including three of India and 28 of six other countries including United States, by the space agency took place at 9.29 am from the first launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre located about 80 km northeast of Chennai off the Bay of Bengal coast.
"My heartiest congratulations to ISRO and its scientists on the successful launch of PSLV. This success in the New Year will bring benefits of the country's rapid strides in space technology to our citizens, farmers, fishermen", the prime minister tweeted.
PSLV's capability of putting multiple satellites into orbit and satellites into multiple orbit both are being done in a single mission practically. Progressively PSLV has better capability: AS Kiran Kumar, ISRO pic.twitter.com/jS8oZ3cbdS— ANI (@ANI) January 12, 2018
The 44.4-metre tall PSLV-C40 roared into a clear sky after a perfect lift-off after a 28-hour countdown. The 320-tonne rocket ejected the satellites one-by-one and deployed them into the earth's lower orbit about 17 minutes and 18 seconds after the lift-off.
Among the 28 international co-passenger satellites, 19 belong to the US, five from South Korea and one each from Canada, France, UK and Finland. The co-passenger satellites comprise one micro and nano satellite each from India as well as three micro and 25 nano satellites from six countries -- Canada, Finland, France, Korea, the United Kingdom and United States of America.
This comes four months after a similar rocket failed to deliver the country's eighth navigation satellite in the earth's lower orbit on August 31, 2017.
Cartosat-2 series was the first to be separated from the rocket and injected into the sun synchronous orbit at 505 km above the earth, followed by the 10 kg nano satellite and the 100 kg micro-sat in different orbits.
According to ISRO, the Cartosat-2 series satellite launch is a follow-on mission with the primary objective of providing high resolution scene specific spot imageries. It carries panchromatic and multi-spectral cameras operating in Time Delay Integration mode and is capable of delivering high resolution data.
As an observational satellite, Cartosat will beam high-quality images for cartographic, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation and utility management like road network monitoring.
The total weight of all the 31 satellites carried on-board PSLV-C40 is about 1,323 kgs.