Firstly, it is a very courageous and well planned decision of ISRO to launch 104+satellites at once/in single rocket. Yes, we all know that, ISRO have experienced scientists and they are well aware of the benefits and drawbacks of launching 104+ satellites at once. Yes, IT WILL BE A PROUD MOVEMENT.
Secondly, all the 104 satellites are not of ISROs, or even of India for that matter. Only three belongs to India. while Rest of 101 satellites belong to different countries.
ISRO, again all the best and congo too.ISRO satellitle launch: We will have a liftoff at 9.30 am from the spaceport at Sriharikota.👍❤🌎🌎 pic.twitter.com/0IfL8bPg6V
— Trilok Singh (@beingtrilok) February 15, 2017
Moreover, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has often hailed India’s budget space technology, quipping in 2014 that a rocket that launched four foreign satellites into orbit had cost less to make than Hollywood film “Gravity”.
Today, ISRO launched 104+ satellites in single rocket. Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) will carry a record 104 satellites in a single mission on 15 February from the space centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. PSLV-C37/Cartosat-2 Series Satellite Mission is scheduled to be launched on February 15, 2017 at 9.28 hours IST from Sriharikota.
The PSLV, in its 39th flight (PSLV-C37), will launch the 714kg Cartosat-2 series satellite for earth observation along with 103 co-passenger satellites, together weighing about 664kg at lift-off. It will be launched into a 505km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO).
ISRO said the co-passenger satellites comprise 101 nano- satellites, one each from Israel, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and 96 from United States of America (USA), as well as two from India.
The main payload of this launch is;
The thirty-ninth flight of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, or PSLV, was primarily tasked with carrying to orbit a Cartosat-2 series reconnaissance satellite for the Indian Government. This was the fifth Cartosat-2 spacecraft to be launched; following the naming convention of previous such satellites it will be Cartosat-2D.
Cartosat-2 is a series of panchromatic Earth imaging satellites, deriving from the original Cartosat-2 spacecraft which was launched in January 2007. A successor to the earlier Cartosat-1 mission and part of the Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) program, Cartosat-2 was a high-resolution imaging spacecraft operated by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
Subsequent spacecraft in the series have been launched for the Indian armed forces to establish a constellation of military reconnaissance satellites. The Cartosat-2A, 2B and 2C satellites were launched in April 2008, July 2010 and June 2016 respectively.
In addition to its panchromatic imager, Cartosat-2D is also equipped with a multispectral imaging payload which was introduced to the series with the previous mission, Cartosat-2C.
- Based on IRSO’s IRS-2 bus, Cartosat-2D has a mass at launch of 714 kilograms (1,570 lb) and is expected to operate for at least five years.
- The spacecraft will go into a circular sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 505 kilometers (314 miles, 273 nautical miles), with 97.46 degrees inclination, completing one revolution every 94 minutes and 43 seconds. The PSLV deployed Cartosat-2D – along with its 103 co-passengers – slightly above this orbit.
- Cartosat-2D was joined on its ride to orbit by a pair of ISRO research satellites named ISRO Nanosatellite 1A and 1B (INS-1A and 1B) and 101 CubeSats.” Other two Indian satellites are experimental CubeSats of ISRO.
The foreign co-passenger satellites comprise 101 nano satellites, one each from Israel, Kazakhstan, The Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and remaining 96 from the United States.
More Importantly, The satellites from Israel, Kazakhstan, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates will perform various functions as assigned by their respective countries. Their functionality is not known to ISRO. ISRO is merely placing them into their designated orbit.
Out of 96 satellites from the USA, 88 are from a single company named Planet who is sending Cubesats aka Dove satellites.
Recent Development and success story
Recently, in June 2016, ISRO launched about 20 satellites at once with only 1 satellite failed to be placed in its orbit and 1 satellite placed in its orbit with partial failure.
Rest of the satellites have been placed in different orbits successfully and they are working absolutely fine. Like this mission, launching 104 satellites is a bigger version of this mission. If ISRO can successfully place 36 satellites (all satellites launched so far, including one with partial failure) then it is able to place 104 satellites in their orbits too. It is neither an easy nor an impossible task.
Moreover, The recent success stories of ISRO should be sufficient to convince us that launching 104 satellites at once will also be a success and it will glorify our status in space science. The scientists here are dedicated and courageous enough to take on any challenge. This is one of the reasons why I aspire to be a scientist at ISRO.
There is this game called Simple Rockets for android users in play store which deals with all the technology in space travel. It’s highly addictive and got really good graphics. You can also learn from it anything related to space, launching rockets and satellites both from earth and other planets too. Also you can connect to other satellites and build your own space station. It’s a paid app but you can download it online for free from . Also you can experience yourself how hard it is to launch 104+ satellites.
Is ISRO launched 104+ satellite in single attempt?
Exactly, you heard it right. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will set a record when it launches 104+ satellites in one go on a single rocket in the first week of February. The satellites will be separated from the launch vehicle in different directions. The separation angle and time of separation will be such that one satellite will not collide with another.
More Specifically, The satellite separated from the launch vehicle will have a relative velocity of one meter per second. So after 1,000 seconds the distance between a satellite and the rocket will be 1,000 meters. “The satellite that gets launched first will move at a relatively faster velocity than the next satellite that is launched. Due to different relative velocities, the distance between the satellites will increases continuously but the orbit will be the same.
Even one degree difference in separation angle combined with relative velocity will ensure that no two satellites would collide. The satellites will be injected into orbit at different locations at different angles, at different times and different orientations.
Finally, ISRO is also mulling the idea of missions to Jupiter and Venus, according to PTI. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has often hailed India’s budget space technology, quipping in 2014 that a rocket that launched four foreign satellites into orbit had cost less to make than Hollywood film “Gravity”.
What should everyone know about the ISRO’s PSLV-C37 mission carrying 104 satellites?
- Previous record for launch of maximum number of satellites in a single flight was 37 by Russian rocket Dnepr [ ]
- Out of the 104 satellites , 103 are nano satellites (one each from Israel, Kazhakstan , UAE, Netherlands, Switzerland, two from India and ninety six nano satellites from the USA) . [ ]
- All nano satellites separated between the time span between 18 minute 32 seconds and 28 minute 42 seconds [ ] . The satellites were released from the rocket with the help of a spring mechanism
- India launched two nano satellites (INS1 A and INS1 B) . These are experimental navigation satellites. Both of them weigh 9 kg each.
- The total weight of all these satellites will be ~ 1370 Kg.
- The imagery of Cartosat-2 series satellite will be useful 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 man made features and various other Land Information System (LIS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) applications. Cartosat -2 weights 714 kg.
- 88 of the satellites belong to a US company called ‘Planet’. These will be the largest satellite constellation ever to reach orbit. With these satellites the company will able to image the earth everyday.
- 8 of the satellites belonging to another US company called spire. Lemur -2 will also be part of the world’s first commercial weather satellite network.
What is the problem?
Launching 104+ satellites at once is not a big problem. The problem arises when the PSLV-C37 has to place each and every satellites in their respective orbits. As ISRO launched satellites of different countries, these satellites will be placed in different orbits so the scientists at ISRO have to monitor each and every satellite and they need to calculate the data very precisely.
Why ISRO? Why “NOT” NASA or SpaceX?
The PSLV does not have the capacity to launch very heavy payloads, but the relatively small rocket is exactly what the world needs right now. Private companies around the world are racing to build smaller rockets to launch the smaller satellites. Space agencies are building racks to house a number of satellites in a single launch vehicle. ISRO already has the capabilities of launching smaller satellites. The proliferation of nanosatellites is ideal for ISRO launches. ISRO can increase the number of satellites in each mission, by packing in an increasing number of satellites into each launch. The “work horse” rocket of the Indian space agency has a flawless record spanning over two decades, and has seen a spike in spaceflights in the XL-configuration lately.
Antrix, the commercial arm of ISRO, provides launch services much cheaper than competition. The US based SpaceX and the French Arianespace or NASA simply cannot compete with the prices that are offered by ISRO. In fact, ISRO provides satellite launch services at such a low cost, that the American private launch industry is threatened by ISRO, and has lobbied for a policy that prevents American companies from using Indian launch vehicles such as the PSLV. However, as the nano-satellites keep getting made, and are more useful in space than on the ground, there are waivers given to companies on an individual basis, to allow them to use ISRO launch vehicles.
The PSLV is reliable, and has failed entirely only on its maiden flight in 1993, and partially in a 1997 flight. A Falcon 9 launch costs $57 million (about Rs 381 crore). A Russian Proton launch costs $68 million (roughly Rs 455 crore). Launches of the Japanexe H-IIA, the Chinese Long March, European Ariane-5 and American Atlas V each cost about $100 million (around Rs 669.2 crore). An Isro PSLV launch by comparison, costs a paltry $15 million (roughly Rs 100 crore). Isro will recover about half of the cost of the PSLV-C37 spaceflight because of the number of foreign satellites on board.