Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Wednesday set a new precedent when it comes to launching satellites. It has successfully launched the PSLV-37 rocket which put in to orbit a record 104 satellites from seven countries. Using the time-tested and popular Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), ISRO surpassed its personal best of sending up 20 satellites in one go. The bar, however, was previously set by Russia in 2014 when it launched 37 satellites in a single mission.
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ISRO launch highlights:
10.10 am: PM Modi said he spoke to the Secretary, Department of Space and congratulated him and the entire team of scientists on today’s “exceptional achievement.”
10.06 am: PM Modi: “This remarkable feat by @isro is yet another proud moment for our space scientific community and the nation. India salutes our scientists.”
Also read | PM Narendra Modi congratulates ISRO for PSLV-C37 rocket launch
10.04 am: The launch countdown of 28 hours was the shortest so far in all PSLV missions, says an ISRO scientist.
10.03 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulates ISRO on the successful launch mission.
10.00 am: Confirmed. ISRO puts 104 satellites in to orbit. A proud moment for the space agency.
9.58 am: Today’s sequence of events.
9.54 am: The flock of 88 ‘Dove’ satellites, owned by San Francisco-based Planet, are currently being separated from the rocket. The satellites will be used to provide high-detailed imagery of the earth’s surface.
9.45 am: The rocket engine goes off. Orbit has been achieved. Cartostat-2 satellite has been ejected. Next, the nano satellites will be separated in sequence. The mission control breaks into applause.
9.40 am: The C-37 rocket is currently over seven minutes into its flight and has attained an altitude of over 500 km.
9.38 am: A view from the mission control room at Sriharikota.
9.36 am: Fourth stage of the mission has commenced. Both engines performing as expected.
9.33 am: Here are the flight parameters
9.28 am: We have a lift off. Forty seconds into the flight, the rocket looks stable.
9.25 am: At lift off, along with the solid four of the six strap-ons will be ignited. In next twenty seconds, the remaining two will be ignited. In the first stage, the rocket will reach a height of 67 km.
9.20 am: We are 8 minutes away from the launch.
9.13 am: The mission director has approved the launch. Now, the vehicle director will initiate the automated launch sequence.
9.11 am: There are four stages in a PSLV rocket launch: It uses solid and liquid propulsion systems alternately.
8.55 am: The XL version of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) that is being used in today’s launch has 100 per cent success rate. It debuted in 2008 to send India’s first lunar probe the Chandrayaan-1. Today’s launch will be PSLV-XL’s 15th space mission. In terms of overall mission success rate of the ISRO, they haven’t failed since 2010.
8.30 am: Here is a breakdown of the number of satellites the PSLV-C37 will be carrying today.
What is the payload?
88 of the 104 satellites are owned by US-based company Planet. Each satellite measures 10cm x 10 cm x 30cm and weighs about 4.7 kg.
This flock of 88 satellites will take Planet’s constellation to 100. They will create the most detailed imagery of the earth’s surface.
What is in it for India?
The PSLV-C37 rocket is also carrying a Cartosat-2 series satellite that will be used for a producing high-resolution images of the Indian landmass.
We will have a liftoff at 9.28 am from the spaceport at Sriharikota.