Indian Space Research Organisation, established on August 15, 1969, is all set to add one more feather in its cap as the agency is all set for the launch of India's Cartosat-2 series and 19 other satellites slated for tomorrow.

This is the third highest number of satellites that any agency is going to launch in one go. Earlier, in 2013, an American Minotaur-1 rocket and in 2014 Russian DNEPR rocket placed 29 and 33 satellites respectively in the space.

According to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), tomorrow at 9.25 am, Indian rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) will lift off from the rocket port at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh with 20 satellites. The rocket's main cargo will be India's 725.5 kg Cartosat-2 series satellite for earth observation.  The other 19 satellites, weighing around 560 kgs are from US, Canada, Germany, and Indonesia as well as one satellite each from Chennai's Sathyabama University and College of Engineering, Pune.
This is not the first time that ISRO is launching satellites in a bunch. Before this, it held the world record for the highest number of satellites to be successfully launched in a single mission after the PSLV placed 10 satellites in space on April 28, 2008.

The pioneers of India’s space programme:
Dr Homi Jehangir Bhabha
Dr Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai
Satish Dhawan
Dr A P J Abdul Kalam
G. Madhavan Nair

Why ISRO launches foreign satellites?
Successful launch of satellites not only exhibits competence but also earns notable monetary dividends. ISRO has earned around USD 100 million by launching 57 foreign satellites till date.

Some major feats of ISRO that make India one of the leading proponents of space science:

Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM):
India became the first country to successfully complete mission to Mars in its very first attempt. Also, it is the fourth country to successfully undertake a mission to Mars (September 2014).

Mission PSLV-C28
ISRO successfully launched PSLV C28, the heaviest commercial mission undertaken by the Indian space agency. PSLV C28 successfully launched five UK satellites weighing over 1440kg.

Indian Lunar Exploration Programme, Chandrayaan-1 was launched in October 2008 on board PSLV XL rocket.  The Chandrayaan-1 mission made the stunning discovery of water on Moon. India’s second lunar mission, Chandrayaan 2, is expected to be launched in 2017.

ISRO successfully tested the crew module aboard the GSLV MK3, which will by 2020 put India in the special group of space cruising nations capable of taking humans to space.

Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS)
The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) with Indian Constellation is an Indian developed Navigation Satellite System that is used to provide accurate real-time positioning and timing services over India and region extending to 1500 km around India. The first launch was made on July 1, 2013, and last one on April 28, 2016.

Written by Raju Kumar/JPN

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