RSS congratulates ISRO for record launch of 104 satellites

The PSLV, which created launch history on Wednesday by placing a record 104 spacecraft in their desired orbits, has totally launched 46 Indian spacecraft, majority Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellites.

The main payload of the Wednesday's PSLV rocket was India's Cartosat 2D, a high-resolution earth observation satellite, and two nano satellites, INS-1A and INS-1B.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated ISRO for the successful launch of 104 satellites, calling it a "remarkable feat". The remaining 101 co-passenger satellites were all the property of the ISRO's worldwide customers - with 96 coming from the USA, and five coming from the Netherlands, Switzerland, Israel, Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates, respectively.

"It is confirmed that all 104 satellites have been successfully deployed in the orbit", PTI quoted PSLV Project Director B. Jayakumar at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) as saying.

The remaining 101 co-passenger satellites carried were worldwide customer satellites from U.S. (96), The Netherlands (1), Switzerland (1), Israel (1), Kazakhstan (1) and UAE (1).

Due to foreign satellite launches, the forex revenue for ISRO's commercial arm, Antrix Corporation, went up 204.9% in 2015. The satellites were released every few seconds from a single rocket as it traveled at 17,000 miles an hour.

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However, given the fact that only 3 of these satellites were actually Indian-made and there was no "cutting-edge" technology used, the only thing this tells us is that - in 3 years since Russian Federation made the record - satellites and other technological devices have gotten much smaller.

The launch of satellites yesterday "is a special achievement for L&T, as its Aerospace business unit has been closely involved with this historic effort that helped India become the only nation to launch 104 satellites in space in single mission", L&T said in a statement. India was also the first Asian country to put a Mars orbiter in space in 2013.

The launch's success has solidified India as a player in private space market as the demand continues to grow for telecommunications services. "It shows the sophistication of India's space program", Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, head of the Nuclear and Space Policy Initiative at the Observer Research Foundation, said before the launch. Here, it should be recalled that the Indian space programme is perhaps the largest people-oriented space programme in the world.

The famously frugal ISRO now hopes to set an enviable benchmark for space fairing nations.

Scientific feats and advancements go a long way in establishing that the country is moving faster towards development, and this perception, whether true or not, will hold other favours for the eastern neighbour.

Many of India's missions have cost far less than their equivalents in Europe, Russia, and the United States. Also, the share of investment in space technology in India's GDP is similar to that of China. It has not yet formed a complete system.

  • Douglas Reid