Sriharikota, February 15 (News Agency) – By launching 104 satellites in space in one go, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has taken a quantum leap. Out of the total satellites launched in space by ISRO, 101 satellites belong to foreign nations. With this feat, ISRO has proved its competency in the field of commercial satellite launch. While this accomplishment has attracted nationwide showers of praise on the ISRO scientists, the former ISRO Chairman, G. Madhavan Nair has claimed that ISRO has the capacity to launch 400 nano satellites in one go.
ISRO, on Wednesday morning, achieved the historical feat of launching 104 satellites in space from the launch base at Sriharikota, with the help of indigenous Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). By accomplishing this difficult task, which even the space research organisations of the US, Russia and Europe have not been able to perform until now, ISRO has proved its mettle. This launch by ISRO had attracted the attention of the whole world.
The satellites, launched by ISRO on Wednesday, also included India’s Earth Observation satellite ‘Cartosat-2’, along with two Indian nano satellites ‘INS-1A’ and ‘INS-1B’.. The rest included nano satellites of Israel, Kazhakistan, Netherlands, Switzerland and UAE, along with 96 satellites of the US.
The private space industry in the US is at present worried due to this feat of ISRO. These US private space companies seem to be hit by the low cost missions carried out by ISRO. Due to this, these organisations are making a strong demand to the US Government that it should formulate a policy for not launching US satellites from India. Against this background, ISRO, on Wednesday, launched in space, total 96 satellites belonging to two US companies. This proves to be a significant development.
Last year, Antrix, the commercial arm of ISRO which oversees commercial satellite launches, had inked deals of launching satellites, with countries like the US, Israel, Kazhakistan, Netherlands, Swaitzerland and UAE. This also included two major satellites of the US. Total 83 satellites, including India’s ‘Cartosat 2’ and 2 major satellites of the US, were supposed to be launched by ISRO in January. However, a couple of months back, the US decided not to launch the 2 major satellites. Due to this, the space allocated by ISRO in the space launch vehicle for these 2 major satellites, got vacant. The question aroused of what to do with the vacant space. Hence the decision to launch ‘Cartosat 2’ was taken. For this, the launch, scheduled in January, was postponed. At the same time, some US companies contacted ISRO for launching additional 20 nano satellites. Hence the 20 nano satellites of the US, along with Cartosat-2, were fitted in the space, left vacant due to the cancellation of the two major US satellites. This took the total count of satellites to 104.
The Russian Space Organisation had launched 37 satellites in one go, in 2014. This was the first occasion of launching so many satellites together in one go, though the US space agency NASA had earlier launched 29 satellites together. ISRO in year 2015 Having launched 20 satellites together in 2015, ISRO had shown that they are also not lagging far behind in this field.