The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) today (12 January) successfully launched its hundredth satellite using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV C-40) from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The PSLV C-40 lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Center at 08:20 am with 31 satellites from India and six other countries, Doordarshan reported.
By 10 am, PSLV-40 placed Cartosat-2, a surveillance satellite that is part of India’s hundredth satellite, was placed into the sun synchronous orbit, ISRO said.
“We are extremely happy about the launch. This is a New Year gift to the country. All the customer satellites were released. Others will be released in the next hour. The follow-up is ongoing. The next Geo Satellite Launch Vehicle part is already being planned…” said ISRO Chief Kiran Kumar.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi led among those who congratulated ISRO for the successful launch. Modi tweeted that 28 of the satellites carried by PSLV-40 were from six countries. Canada, Finland, France, Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States are the six nations.
All 31 satellites will have to be put into orbit before the launch can be called successful. In August, a similar launch, IRNSS-1H, failed to deploy after a technical glitch with a key component. The lift-off was held back by a minute since ISRO scientists feared that the launch could collide with space debris.
Similar to the PSLV C-35, the satellites will be launched in two orbits with 30 of them in an orbit of 550 km from the Earth. One will be place at around 350 km from the earth.