ISRO will launch 30 satellites in one go this December

Bengaluru, October 31, 2017, The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Monday said that it will launch 30 satellites in a single mission on board its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) this year in December. With this, ISRO is all set to take over the space race once again. The mission’s main payload would be Cartosat-2 series earth observation satellite. It will be the first PSLV mission after the unsuccessful launch of navigation satellite IRNSS-1H in August this year. ISRO Chairman Kiran Kumar said, “We are planning our next launch in the second half of December, all things are in place… It will be a satellite of Cartosat-2 series along with other co-passengers.”

ISRO has been allocated Rs 9093.71 crore annual budget in FY 20017-18 against Rs 7509.14 crore allocated in FY2016-17. For this fiscal year, Space Technology has been allotted  Rs 6083.76 crore, Space Applications have been given Rs 1788.64 crore, INSAT Operational gets 579.46 crore, Space Sciences have been allocated 398.14 crore while Direction & Administration and Other Programmes have been allotted 243.71 crore.

In June this year, ISRO had done a similar launch of its earth observation satellite Cartosat-2 along with 30 co-passenger satellites.

Moreover, in August, ISRO faced a minor setback during the launch of its eighth navigation satellite – the IRNSS-1H. The PSLV-C39 rocket’s heat shield which was supposed to separate in order to release the satellite failed to do, resulting in the failure of the Rs 250-crore mission. But, nevertheless, ISRO has major plans in the months and years to come.

ISRO’s December mission will be a combination of 25 nanosatellites, three micro-satellites and one Cartosat satellite, along with “maybe” one university satellite. ISRO officials said that most of the co-passengers of Cartosat-2 series satellite would commercial satellites from foreign countries, including Finland and the US. Another big launch in ISRO’s calendar is the next lunar mission Chandrayaan-2, on board GSLV-Mk II, scheduled for March 2018.

The ISRO Chairman said on Chandrayaan-2 that the orbiter was getting integrated at Bengaluru and some more tests were going on with regard to the lander and rover, instruments and systems.  “By the first quarter of the next year we expect to put the orbiter, lander, rover- all the things together into the lunar orbit,” he added. Chandrayaan-2, India’s second mission to the Moon, would be an advanced version of the Chandrayaan-1 launched nine years ago. This spacecraft is a composite model consisting of orbiter, lander and rover.