Taking a huge leap in the field of space technology, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on June 22 used its workhorse PSLV-C34 to launch 20 satellites into space.
In what was ISRO’s biggest launch under one mission, the 20 satellites included 17 foreign and 2 student-made nano- satellites.
The launch not only set a new record for ISRO, but also demonstrated PSLV’s capability to place satellites in different orbits.
The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C34) weighs 320-tonne and took off on its 36th flight at 9:26 am on June 22.
The launch took place at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh and had a primary payload of Cartosat-2 series, which provides remote sensing services. Cartosat-2 series will also provide earth observation and imaging satellites from US, Canada, Germany and Indonesia. It was its 14th flight of PSLV in ‘XL’ configuration.
After the launch at 9:26 am Cartosat-2 got placed in orbit about 17 minutes later at 9:44 am.
Representational Image of an navigational satellite PTI
Once the final stages of the mission was over, ISRO demonstrated its capability to place satellites in different orbits when PSLV-C34 reignited twice after its final stage and moved few kilometres further into another orbit.
It was later clarified by ISRO scientists that the demonstration was for their next mission in which they are planning to inject satellites in different orbits using a single rocket.
While launching 20 satellites in one mission is a new ISRO record, the world record for the highest number of satellites launch in a single mission is with Russia when in 2014 they launched 33 satellites in one go.
The 20 satellites launched by ISRO on June 22 were: