Indian Space Research Organisation launches 20 satellites in succession
With today's launch of 20 satellites, PSLV beat its 2008 record when it placed in orbit 10 satellites in a single launch into various Low Earth Orbits. Photograph: (Getty)
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) today successfully placed 20 satellites in orbit with its flagship launch vehicle, PSLV C-34 from Sriharikota island in southern India.
ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)-C34 took off at 9:26 am (0456 GMT) from Satish Dhawan Space Center carrying 17 foreign and three indigenous satellites.
The mission lasted for 26 and a half minutes by which time all satellites were put into a polar synchronous orbit of 505 kilometres height one by one.
The 320 tonne PSLV C-34 carried 17 foreign small satellites from Canada, Indonesia, Germany and the US but the main passenger was a 727 kilogram Indian earth observation satellite called Cartosat, which can take images at sub-meter resolution. The rocket also placed two Indian academic community built satellites, Sathyabhamasat and Swayam in the space.
With 20 satellites, the Indian space agency has beaten its previous record of placing 10 satellites in April 2008.
ISRO Chairman A S Kiran Kumar called it a major accomplishment for the Indian space agency.
"Today, PSLV C34 has done its job and we have the current generation of earth observation satellite, Cartosat-2 series and along with this, another 17 satellites have been put into the orbit," said Kumar.
Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi congratulated ISRO team on the historic achievement.
"20 satellites in a go! @isro continues to break new barriers. Hearty congratulations to our scientists on the monumental accomplishment," read his tweet.
Currently, Russia holds the world record for placing the most number of satellites in a single launch. Its Dnepr rocket launched 37 satellites in 2014.
Till date India has successfully launched 57 foreign satellites.