Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) said on Sunday it has cleared the 48-hour countdown, starting from Monday morning, for the launch of record 20 satellites in a single mission on June 22 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota.
Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C34 will be used to carry the satellites, including India’s earth observation spacecraft Cartosat-2, from the second launch pad of the space centre at 9.26am on June 22.
“Mission Readiness Review committee and Launch Authorisation Board have cleared the 48-hour countdown starting at 09.26hr IST on Monday, June 20, 2016 and the launch of PSLV-C34/Cartosat-2 Series Satellite Mission for Wednesday, June 22, 2016 at 09.26hr IST,” a senior Isro official told PTI.
The space agency had earlier sent 10 satellites into orbit in a single mission in 2008. PSLV-C34 will launch 19 co-passenger satellites together weighing about 560kg at lift-off into a 505km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO).
Isro said the total weight of all the 20 satellites carried on board PSLV-C34 is about 1,288kg. The co-passengers include satellites from the US, Canada, Germany and Indonesia as well as two satellites from Indian Universities. The mission would carry LAPAN A3 of Indonesia, BIROS of Germany, SKYSAT GEN 2-1 of US, MVV of Germany among the micro satellites, Isro sources had earlier said.