Creating a record, India on Wednesday successfully launched 20 satellites including 17 foreign and its earth observation satellite in a single mission in 26 minutes from Sriharikota, in a crucial step to become a key player in the multi-billion dollar space launch market.
In a precision launch, Indian Space Research Organisation workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C34) took off in clear skies from the second launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre, about 110 kilometre from Chennai, at 9.26 am and placed the new generation earth observation satellite( Cartosat-2 Series) and 19 others in the designated polar Sun Synchronous Orbit 26 minutes later.
Thirteen of the satellites are from the United States including the 12 earth imaging Dove satellites from Planet Labs organisation, each of which weighs just 4.7 kg, and a 110-kg earth imaging satellite called SkySat Gen-2 made by a Google-owned company. There are two Canadian satellites and one each from Germany and Indonesia.
ISRO set a world record for the highest number of satellites launched in a single mission when it placed 10 satellites in a PSLV on April 28, 2008. Nasa in 2013 placed 29 satellites in a single mission and Russia in 2014 launched 33 satellites in one launch.
Source: ISRO, rediff.com, Times of India