Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) again showed the world what Indian space technology is capable of achieving by launching 20 satellites in a single go. The landmark mission was effectively completed on 22nd June from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, which is located in Andhra Pradesh. The satellites were launched by one of India’s most reliable launch vehicles – PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle), which was introduced to the world in 1993 and since then has completed 34 missions successfully.
The 20 launches were concluded in mere 26 minutes, making this incredible speed the best one the world has seen so far. The entire nation saw this happening live on their television sets. Needless to say, Mr. AS Kiran Kumar (ISRO’s chairman) is one happy man these days. He congratulated his team for accomplishing the challenging task and making India proud, once again. Out of the 20 satellites, 13 belonged to US, 2 were from Canada, 1 from Indonesia and Germany each and 3 were from India itself. Two of these India made satellites (Satyabhama and Swayam) were designed by the students of Indian universities. While Satyabhama is a product of Sathyabama University, Chennai, Swayam has been designed by the students of Pune’s College of Engineering.
Satyabhama will gather data on the status of greenhouse gases and Swayam will help improve communication services (HAM radio services). The third Indian satellite belongs to the Cartosat-2 series which is primarily used for earth observation and mapping purposes. Since 2014, when ISRO completed the Mars Orbiter Mission successfully, the organization has gained tremendous global recognition for being the most economical space industry in the world. ISRO’s achievements made India the first Asian country to reach the Red Planet and that too at a fraction of the cost, which is usually required for such missions.
As of now, Elon Musk’s Space X and Stephane Israel’s Arianespace are the two main competitors of ISRO. Launching a satellite via Arianespace costs around $100 million and Space X provides this service for around $60 million. But ISRO’s PSLV rocket can get the job done in just $20 million. Now with all these wonderful achievements to its name, ISRO is all set to reach new heights of success. Recently, the organization made an announcement that it’ll be able to manage as much as 18 launches per year. A new vehicle assembly building for the resilient PSLV series is also on its way.