ISRO Set For Record Launch Today Of 20 Satellites In 26 Minutes: 10 Facts

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  1. The 320 tonne Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C-34 (PSLV) will carry 17 foreign small satellites from Canada, Indonesia, Germany and the US but the main passenger is a 727 kg Indian earth observation satellite called Cartosat, which can take images at sub-meter resolution.
  2. The launch also takes into orbit two Indian academic community built satellites, Sathyabhamasat and Swayam.
  3. ISRO will also launch 13 US-made small satellites into space. This includes an earth imaging satellite made by Terra Bella, a Google-owned company. The 110 kgGoogle satellite called SkySat Gen- 2 is capable of taking sub-meter resolution images and high definition video.
  4. On its 36th launch, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle will fly 20 satellites, weighing about 1288 kg, into space at a cost about 10 times less than other space agencies.
  5. Cartosat-2 Series is similar to the earlier Cartosat-2, 2A and 2B, and 19 co-passenger satellites together weighing about 560 kg at lift-off would be injected into a 505-km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit.
  6. Launching 20 satellites in a single mission is like “allowing birds to fly in space”, ISRO chairman Kiran Kumar told NDTV.  “Each of these small objects that you are putting into space will carry out their own activity, which is independent of the other, and each of them will live a wonderful life for a finite period for which they have been designed,” Dr Kumar said.
  7. With 20 satellites, the Indian space agency will beat its previous record of placing 10 satellites in April 2008. Currently, Russia holds the world record for placing the most number of satellites in a single launch. Its Dnepr rocket launched 37 satellites in 2014.
  8. The mission would carry LAPAN A3 of Indonesia, BIROS of Germany, SKYSAT GEN 2-1 of US, MVV of Germany among the micro satellites, ISRO sources had earlier said.
  9. With this launch, ISRO is ready to take on private billionaires like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos who have entered the space launch business and offer far cheaper space launches.
  10. Till now, ISRO has launched 57 satellites for foreign vendors from about 20 countries, earning about $ 100 million in the bargain.