We have gotten so used to ISRO setting one landmark or another, that it almost feels strange if a week or two go by without a new announcement from the Indian Space Research Organization. ISRO is now aiming for a world record by putting 83 satellites into orbit — all through a single rocket launch slated for early 2017.
Speaking on the topic, Rakesh Sasibhushan, Chairman-cum-Managing Director of Antrix Corporation said,
During the first quarter of 2017 we plan to launch a single rocket carrying 83 satellites. Most foreign satellites are nano satellites.
Antrix Corporation, in case you are wondering, is the commercial arm of ISRO. And make no mistake, the Indian Space Agency is putting private enterprises to shame with its adroit business skills. The company’s order book already stands at 500 crore and it is hoping to snag orders worth another 500 crores, soon.
This latest mission involving 83 satellites is expected to take place in 2017 and will involve an ISRO rocket putting all of them into a single orbit. A single orbit certainly reduces the complications involved considering that there won’t be any turning on and off of the rocket multiple times. However, this mission will have its own set of challenges as well. The greatest issue here will be holding the rocket in place for long enough for all the satellites to enter the orbit.
While the names of the entities who are getting their satellites to space through this mission have been withheld, it was said that many of them are ISRO’s old clients.
Launching multiple satellites is not something that is entirely new to ISRO. The organization has undertaken multiple such projects in the past, however, 83 is a number quite unheard of. The rocket deployed for the purpose will be PSLV-XL, and the total payload will range somewhere around 1,600 kg. Many of these rockets will be nano-satellites and 81 will be foreign, while there will also be a couple of Indian satellites.
The rocket will be launched during the first quarter of 2017.