Isro launches 20 satellites in a single flight

The Indian Space Research Organization’s (Isro’s) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C34) successfully launched the 727.5-kg Cartosat-2 Series Satellite along with 19 co-passenger satellites on Wednesday morning from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota. This is the 35the consecutively successful mission of PSLV and the fourteenth in its ‘XL’ configuration. The total weight of all the 20 satellites carried on-board PSLV-C34 was 1,288 kg.

After PSLV-C34 lift-off at 9.26 a.m. from the Second Launch Pad with the ignition of the first stage, the subsequent important flight events took place as planned. 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 succeeding 10 minutes, all the 20 satellites successfully separated from the PSLV fourth stage in a predetermined sequence.

The imagery sent by the Cartosat-2 series 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, two—Sathyabamasat, weighing 1.5 kg, and Swayam, weighing 1 kg—are university-academic satellites. They were built with the involvement of students from the Sathyabama University, Chennai, and the College Of Engineering, Pune, respectively.

The remaining 17 co-passenger satellites were international customer satellites from Canada (2), Germany (1), Indonesia (1) and the United States (13). With today’s successful launch, 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.