With the successful launch of PSLV-C32 today, the total number of satellites launched by India’s workhorse launch vehicle PSLV has reached 113, of which 39 are Indian and the remaining 74 from abroad. Past record was set in 2008 when ISRO had launched 10 satellites in a single flight with the PSLV rocket.
ISRO is already posing tough competition in space launches with its price per launch almost 10 times lower than the world giants and private US space companies. Still, the Indian space agency is looking for further cost savings, said Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman A S Kiran Kumar, after the launch.
In addition, ISRO is looking at incrreasing the number of launches in the range of 12 to 18 per annum when the second vehicle assembly building gets ready soon. This will "help increase the number of launches," he said. "One of the things we will be constantly addressing is how to reduce the cost of accessing space and these studies are addressing on what methods to reduce cost of launching satellite and that will be our continuous endeavour," he added.
Here is a brief timeline of ISRO launches in 2016 and all of them are successful.
January 20, 2016: PSLV-C31/IRNSS-1E Launch
MARCH 10, 2016: PSLV C32 launched with IRNSS-1F
April 28, 2016: PSLV-C33/IRNSS-1G Launch
May 23, 2016: Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) Launch
June 22, 2016: PSLV-C34 / Cartosat-2 Series Satellite Mission launch.
More About PSLV-C34 launch Today:
In its 36th flight, PSLV-C34, ISRO successfully launched the 727.5 kg Cartosat-2 Series Satellite along with 19 small and nano satellites sharp at 9.26 am on Wednesday morning (June 22, 2016) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota. This is the 35th consecutively successful mission of PSLV and the 14th in its ‘XL’ configuration. The total weight of all the 20 satellites was 1,288 kg.
After PSLV-C34 lift-off at 0926 hrs (9:26 am) IST from the Second Launch Pad with the ignition of the first stage, the subsequent important flight events, namely, strap-on ignitions and separations, first stage separation, second stage ignition, heat-shield separation, second stage separation, third stage ignition and separation, fourth stage ignition and cut-off, took place as planned, said ISRO in a statement.
After a flight of 16 minutes 30 seconds, the satellites achieved a polar Sun Synchronous Orbit of 508 km inclined at an angle of 97.5 degree to the equator (very close to the intended orbit) and in the next 10 minutes, all the 20 satellites were successfully separated from the PSLV fourth stage as per the pre-determined sequence.
After separation, the two solar panels of Cartosat-2 were deployed and ISRO’s Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) at Bangalore took over the control of monitoring the satellite. After the final operational configuration, the satellite will start sending the remote sensing services using its panchromatic (black and white) and multispectral (colour) cameras.
The images to be sent by the Cartosat-2 satellite will be useful for cartographic applications, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation, utility management like road network monitoring, water distribution, creation of land use maps, precision study, change detection to bring out geographical and manmade features and various other Land Information System (LIS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) applications.
Of the 19 co-passenger satellites carried by PSLV-C34, one is SATHYABAMASAT weighing 1.5 kg and the second is SWAYAM weighing 1 kg – both University/Academic institute satellites built by staff and students from Sathyabama University, Chennai and College Of Engineering, Pune, respectively. The remaining 17 satellites were for international customers from Canada (2), Germany (1), Indonesia (1) and the United States (13).