An Indian rocket successfully launched 10 satellites into orbit at one go on Monday, reaching a milestone in space technology and boosting India’s image as a major player in the multi-billion-dollar satellite launching business.
The PSLV-C9 injected two Indian satellites and eight nano satellites into space from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said. “Today’s mission has been a remarkable success as we set a record injecting 10 satellites simultaneously. Though published material on space launches show Russia has launched 13 satellites simultaneously we do not know how successful the results were,” ISRO chairman G. Madhavan Nair said.
The single-core version of India’s workhorse launcher PSLV boomed into a cloudy sky with a payload of 850 kg. After 1,020 seconds, it launched India’s Cartosat-2 A, IMS-1 and the nano satellites designed by universities in Canada, Japan, Netherlands and Germany. ISRO charged $600,000 for launching each of the nano satellites.
Nair said all the satellites were functioning normally. “Considering that this is 12th successful launch by the PSLV, we have a launcher that is reliable, versatile and flexible,” he added. Coincidentally, IMS-1 is the 50th satellite to be launched from Indian soil.