ISRO to launch 21 satellites in one shot

India’s  space agency Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) would launch  21 small and mostly foreign commercial satellites along with a larger Indian spacecraft.

Key Points

  • The primary passenger on the PSLV-C33 launcher will be the Earth observing, high-resolution Cartosat-2C, weighing around 700 kg.
  • Offering a resolution of about 60 cm, Cartosat-2C would fulfill the country’s military requirements. Its camera, among other functions, can spot objects that are 60 cm wide or long – roughly an arm’s length, from its orbit of around 600 km.
  • Previously the PSLV had launched 10 spacecrafts including eight small foreign ones in April 2008 with the main passenger being Cartosat-2A, another defence enabler, giving pictures of 80 cm resolution of the ground below.
  • NASA holds the highest record for placing the highest number (29) of small customer satellites in orbit on a Minotaur launcher.
  • Multiple launches need multiple interfaces between the rocket and the spacecraft, and coordination with operators of each spacecraft.
  • ISRO Chairman has opined that missions must be planned meticulously by timing the release of each customer satellite carefully without affecting the others.


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