Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) has now successfully placed a record of placing 20 satellites in orbit that were being carried by its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) in a 26-minute flight from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. The 320-tonne PSLV C-34 contained 17 small satellites from Canada, Indonesia, Germany and the US but the main satellite was a 727-kg Cartosat, which is a earth observation satellite called which can take high-resolution images, and two other satellites created by Indian universities, Sathyabhamasat and Swayam.
In fact, there were 13 US satellites among all on the space flight, including a satellite made by Terra Bella, a Google-owned company, that is also a earth imaging.
One of them was the 110 kg Google satellite called SkySat Gen-2 is capable of taking very high resolution images and high definition video.
Launching 20 satellites in a single mission is like “allowing birds to fly in space”, the ISRO chairman.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted “20 satellites in a go! @isro continues to break new barriers.”
This was the first time that ISRO has placed more than 10 satellites with a single rocket. In 2008, ISRO placed in orbit 10 satellites.
For now, Russia holds the world record for launching maximum number of satellites at one latch. Its Dnepr rocket launched 37 satellites in 2014.
ISRO has launched 74 satellites till now for foreign vendors from about 20 countries, earning about $ 100 million