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ISRO launches record 104 satellites in single mission

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SRIHARIKOTA, ANDHRA PRADESH (PTI): Space agency ISRO today scripted history by successfully launching 104 satellites, including India's weather observation Cartosat-2 Series, in a single mission onboard its dependable Polar rocket from here.

Bettering Russian space agency's feat of launching 37 satellites in a single mission in 2014, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) injected the Cartosat-2 Series satellite and 103 nano satellites into precise orbit after a textbook lift-off from this spaceport, about 100 km from Chennai.

The previous highest number of satellites launched by ISRO in one mission was 20 in June 2015, the agency said.

Cartosat-2 Series satellite, a remote sensing spacecraft with a five-year life span, would send images that would be utilised in coastal land use and regulation, road network monitoring, distribution of water, creation of land use maps among others, ISRO said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated ISRO for the successful launch, saying, "This remarkable feat by @isro is yet another proud moment for our space scientific community and the nation. India salutes our scientists."

The complex mission has once again proved ISRO's capabilities in undertaking commercial launches with the PSLV achieving its 38th consecutive success.

So far, ISRO has launched 226 satellites, including 179 belonging to foreign countries.

At the end of the 23-hour countdown, the shortest so far by ISRO, the agency's trusted workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, on its 39th flight, blasted off from the first launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at 9:28 AM and soared into clear skies.

ISRO said it was able to reduce the countdown time, which normally varies upto 52 hours, as the preparations were completed in a shorter span.

After a flawless flight, the rocket first orbited 714 kg Cartosat-2 Series satellite followed by the co-passengers -- ISRO's INS-1A and INS-1B, 96 other nano satellites belonging to two US companies, and one each from Israel, Kazakhstan, The Netherlands, Switzerland and UAE.

The satellites were placed in the polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO) in a gap of about 30 minutes during a series of separations.

A beaming ISRO Chairman A S Kirankumar announced that "All 104 satellites successfully placed in orbit. My hearty congratulations to the entire ISRO team for the wonderful job they have done."

Tags:

India  Space   ISRO  Satellites  Cartosat  Rocket  
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