100th satellite launch a landmark: Rajnath Singh

Olive Hawkins
January 13, 2018

The launched satellites include the weather observation Cartosat-2 series, two more satellites from India and 28 other nations.

The successful orbiting of the satellites by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV C-40 comes four months after the Indian space Research Organisation's mission to launch backup navigation spacecraft IRNSS-1H onboard PSLV-39 ended in a rare failure. Following the 28-hour countdown activities, the 44-metre tall PSLV-C40 rocket lifted off from the first launch pad.

Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) Director K Sivan, who has been named the successor to Kumar, noted that many worldwide customers approached the ISRO for the launch immediately after the PSLV-C39 failure and it showed the confidence that they have in the agency's workhorse launch vehicle. "This success in the New Year will bring benefits of the country's rapid strides in space technology to our citizens, farmers, fishermen etc", tweeted Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister.

The other 30 satellites - 28 are from other countries - together weighed 613 kg.

Cartosat-2, weighing 710 kilograms, is one of the series of the same name and aims to provide high-resolution images of the Earth for cartographic applications, monitoring of the road network, use of coastal land and the regulation and management of public services.

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"PSLV-C40 is a highly sophisticated surveillance tool to keep an eye on Indian borders and will help the government track progress of infrastructure projects", science writer Pallava Bagla, the co-author of Reaching For The Stars: India's Journey To Mars, was quoted by Reuters as saying.

ISRO also demonstrated the PSLV's capability to place multiple rockets in multiple orbits in a single mission.

India's space agency has steadily increased its satellite count and even taken to launching foreign satellites.

The 1st two satellites of this series were carried as co-passenger payloads by PSLV-C37 in February 2017. India´s space programme has a budget of around $4 billion and Modi´s government hopes the latest launches will improve its prospects of winning a larger share of the more than $300 billion global space industry. "ISRO is starting 2018 with the successful launch. all customer satellites (besides Cartosat and nanosat) released and the microsat after one hour". Then another GSLV MK-II is planned to launch Chandrayaan-II moon mission in April.

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