ISRO reaches new milestone

ISRO reaches new milestone
The Indian Space Research Organisation has achieved a new milestone by successfully sending up a rocket carrying India's 100th satellite along with 30 others. The space agency..

The Indian Space Research Organisation has achieved a new milestone by successfully sending up a rocket carrying India's 100th satellite along with 30 others.

The space agency, which four months ago dealt with a failed launch, was able to successfully launch the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C40) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota.

Background

Headquartered in the city of Bengaluru in India, ISRO has become one of the most reliable space agencies in the world. Along with its commercial arm, Antrix, it seems to be currently growing from strength to strength – something the international community, including Israel has noticed.

Formed in 1969, ISRO began building India’s first satellite, Aryabhata, which was successfully launched into space by Soviet Union in April 19, 1975. Soon, other pursuits followed. From 1999 to June 2017, ISRO has successfully launched 209 satellites from 28 countries.

Israel has partnered with ISRO for many years. In 2003, ISRO and Israel Space Agency (ISA) signed an MoU that would launch one of Israel’s scientific instrument. Additionally, India’s radar reconnaissance satellite, RISAT-2 (Radar Imaging Satellite 2), was built by Israel Aerospace Industries and launched aboard a PSLV-CA rocket on April 20, 2009.

Most recently, in January 2017, ISRO made history by launching a record 104 satellites in single mission (the previous record was held by Russia for launching 37 satellites). While 96 of those satellites belonged to the United States, there was one from Israel too.

Analysis

In September 2017, the space agency was dealt a blow when after the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) failed to deliver India's eighth navigation satellite into its intended orbit. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar said: "The mission was unsuccessful. The rocket heat shield didn't separate. The satellite is inside the heat shield.”

However, in January 2018, ISRO achieved a new milestone by successfully sending up a rocket carrying India's 100th satellite along with 30 others. It successfully launched the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C40) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota.

"This is PSLV's 40th successful launch," project director R Hutton said. "It is an excellent mission. Cartosat's performance has been so far satisfactory," said retiring Isro chairman AS Kiran Kumar after the rocket placed 30 satellites in orbit. Of the 30 other satellites, two more were from India and the rest came from Canada, Finland, France, Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The organization also accomplished yet another milestone. The mission was done through "multiple burn technology". This is done when rocket's engine is switched off and then switched on to control its height. The 710-kg earth observation satellite the PSLV is carrying the third in the Cartosat 2 series.

"We are coming to the launch pad after four months. Many of our customers came ready with satellites after our previous failure. It shows their confidence in us. We have some exciting launches coming up including Chandrayaan 2, GSLV MKIII and GSLV MKII" said chairman-designate K Sivan.

Satish Dhawan Space Centre director P Kunhikrishnan, "Three consecutive launches are planned from second launch pad in addition to those in the first launch pad. The construction of the second assembly centre is in its final phase of completion. A project is underway to increase capability of first launch pad to 15 launches a year.”

Assessment

Our assessment is that this is a clear indication that India is now able to offer technology to countries that are themselves technologically advanced. It also marks how the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has become a trusted name in the world of space technology. India now has a clear deliverable to offer the global community. 

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