Indian Space Agency Launches 31 Satellites in Single Mission

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The PSLV has so far successfully launched 51 Indian satellites and 237 foreign satellites, ISRO said.

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) has launched "Cartosat-2" series satellite along with 30 co-passenger satellite at 9.28 a.m. ISRO has also adopted an optimum sequence so as to avoid any kind of collisions. The launch marks ISRO's first mission in 2018.

He told mediapersons after the successful launch of PSLV-C40/Cartosat-2 series mission that the satellites included nine student ones made by some universities while hinting that they could not be counted in Isro's account. The total weight of the liftoff was reportedly about 1323 kilograms.

A visibly relieved Kiran Kumar, on his final mission as the chief of the space agency, said he was happy to provide Cartosat 2 Series as a New Year gift for the country.

The team was seen beaming and congratulating each other after the range controller announced the successful separation of different stages, especially the heat shield, two minutes and 31 seconds after take-off and deployment of all the satellites except India's Microsat, which was injected into a lower obit an hour later.

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"PSLV-C40 is a highly sophisticated surveillance tool to keep an eye on Indian borders and will help the government track progress of infrastructure projects", science writer Pallava Bagla, the co-author of Reaching For The Stars: India's Journey To Mars, was quoted by Reuters as saying.

ISRO scientists have said that the images, which the satellites collect, will enable Indian security agency to keep a track of military activities in neighboring Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, China, and Pakistan.

Today's satellite launch took place after a failed launch four months before. In February 2017, ISRO set a world record for sending 104 satellites on a single rocket.

India's space programme has a budget of around US$4 billion (S$5.3 billion) and the Modi government hopes that the latest launches will improve its prospects of winning a larger share of the more than US$300 billion global space industry.

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