ISRO puts 31 satellites in space

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The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) successfully launched 31 satellites (29 of them belonging to foreign countries) on board the PSLV-C38 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre.

The PSLV carried the Cartosat 2 series satellite (the main payload), weighing 712 kg and another Indian satellite, NIUSAT from Noorul Islam University, Kanyakumari. The total payload weighed 955 kg at lift-off

Austria, Belgium, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, the UK and the US are the other countries whose Nano satellites were part of the launch

Cartosat-2 series satellite:

  • Cartosat-2 is a remote sensing satellite and is sixth in its series
  • It was placed in a polar Sun Synchronous orbit
  • It will be used for coastal land use regulation, water distribution, creation of land use maps, cartographic applications, Land Information Systems (LIS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) applications

PSLV- A Credible Launch vehicle:

  • We have been able to achieve technical capabilities wherein in a single mission, several satellites can be placed into different orbits
  • Initially PSLV was designed to put satellites in sun synchronous orbit, but its capabilities have expanded and now it could cater to any type of orbit, which includes Geo Synchronous, Sun Synchronous orbit or low inclination orbits

Tracing India’s Space program:

  • From its initial phase, India has always focused on attaining self-sufficiency in space technologies
  • The goals of ISRO were significantly different from other nations which were pioneers in space technology at that time
  • Thus, countries like United States and the Soviet Union were focused on human space exploration
  • Whereas India was keen to develop its satellite capabilities in remote sensing and earth observation satellites, which would help in surveying crops and damage from natural disasters and erosion
  • It also used satellite communication to bring telemedicine and telecommunication to remote rural areas.
  • Our space program is technocratic driven where scientists and technocrats call the shots and thus follow a bottom up approach
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