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104 sats launch was only for logistics: ISRO

Wednesday, 15 February 2017
M Balasubramani

Sriharikota: "Satellites come in different sizes and weights and we want to ensure that we accommodate and utilise our launch vehicle to its fullest capacity,' said Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman Kiran Kumar, stating that today's launch of 104 satellites at one go was not for records but to ensure maximum returns. 

He was addressing mediapersons after the 39th launch, PSLV-C37, which carried the record payload.

"With the advancement of technology, there are more small satellites built; however, they cannot be launched separately and, hence, the wait for a major launch. We use PSLV more often and have optimised the usage today," he added.

Talking about whether similar launches will continue in the future, Kiran Kumar said it depends on the satellites available.

Project director Jayakumar said the launch and separations happened precisely as expected. 

"This was a major learning experience for us and it has come out well. So far, PSLV has launched 226 satellites out of which 180 are foreign satellites," he added. 

"A unique separation sequence was utilised to ensure that Cartosat and INS satellites were separated and the remaining satellites were deployed simultaneously. There were 25 quadpacks consisting of four nano satellites each and they were released one by one," the project director added. 

Talking to 'News Today', scientist and director, ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC), Mayilsamy Annadurai, said Chandrayaan-2 will be an advanced version of Chandrayaan-1.

"While Chandrayaan-1 was a remote sensing satellite, Chandrayaan-2 will make a soft landing on the lunar surface and send reports. This will also be used to confirm the availability of water. This six-wheeled rover will do in situ analysis on the lunar surface," he added. 

Talking about the future projects of ISRO, Kiran kumar said Chandrayaan-2 was in the later stages of development and can be expected to be launched in the first quarter of 2018. 

"Meanwhile, the GSAT series satellites including the GSAT 9, GSAT 17 and GSAT 19, will be launched. Apart from this, GSLV mach 3 will be tested in the coming days,' he said. 

"The Venus mission and Mars 2 mission are on the cards and we have to come out with the final project," Kiran Kumar added.


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