ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) promises for an Indian Space Mission in the beginning of the new year that will boost up its position in space science and dive into the global history book. During the Q1 of 2017 (January, if everything goes according to plan), ISRO will launch 82 foreign satellites in a single shot, of which 60 belongs to the US, 20 to Europe and 2 from the UK. Of course, most of them are nanosatellites.
Officials said all the satellites will be put in a single orbit and hence there will not be any switching off and on of the rocket. The major challenge for the proposed mission is to hold the rocket in the same orbit till all the satellites are ejected. The rocket for this launch will be advanced version of four-stage PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) codenamed as PSLV-XL. The total payload/weight carried off will be around 1,600 kg. All the satellites will be placed in a 580 Km polar sun-synchronous orbit in a span of 20-25 minutes after launch.
ISRO is also conducting high-altitude tests with its own cryogenic engine that is expected to power the heavier rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mk III (GSLV Mk III). The GSLV Mk III rocket is expected to save precious foreign exchange for India as it pays to launch heavier satellites through foreign space agencies.
The record for launching the highest number of satellites in one go is held by Russia which was 39 satellites on 19th June 2014. The US placed 29 satellites on 19th November 2013. India entered the list by launching 20 satellites on 22nd June 2016 and if this mission succeeds, then India will break the global space record and once again, enter into International acclaim. All the very best ISRO. We are all proud of you. 🙂