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Satellite Updates : ISRO to launch 83 satellites on single rocket, create world record
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MUMBAI: The Indian space agency ISRO, in a move to set a world record, is planning to put into orbit 83 satellites -- two Indian and 81 foreign -- on a single rocket in early 2017, said a top official of Antrix Corporation, the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

The official said the company's order book stands at Rs 500 crore while negotiations are on for launch order for another Rs 500 crore.

Antrix Corporation chairman-cum-managing director Rakesh Sasibhushan told IANS that, during the first quarter of 2017, ISRO planned plan to launch a single rocket carrying 83 satellites. Most foreign satellites were nano satellites, he said.

He said all the 83 satellites will be put in a single orbit and hence there will not be any switching off and on of the rocket. The major challenge for the proposed mission is to hold the rocket in the same orbit till all the satellites are ejected. He said ISRO will use its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle XL (PSLV-XL) rocket variant for the record launch.

For ISRO, launch of multiple satellites at one go is not a new thing as it has done it several times in the past. According to Sasibhushan, the total payload/weight carried off into space by the PSLV-XL rocket will be around 1,600 kg.

Meanwhile, ISRO is conducting high-altitude tests with its own cryogenic engine that is expected to power the heavier rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mk III (GSLV Mk III). The GSLV Mk III has a capacity to carry around four tonnes of load. The rocket is scheduled to be flown in January 2017.

The GSLV Mk III rocket is expected to save precious foreign exchange for India as it pays to launch heavier satellites through foreign space agencies.

ISRO chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar said the agency is looking forward to develop four-tonne communication satellites that will give the same output as a six-tonner.

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Airtel Digital HD Recorder / Kerala Vision Digital TV
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#2
ISRO to launch 83 satellites in one go in January 2017


ISRO has said it would launch a record 83 satellites in one go using its workhorse PSLV-C37 toward the end of January. ”We are working for a January launch. It will be toward the end of January. The date has to be fixed,” Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman A S Kiran Kumar told reporters.

Of the 83 satellites, 80 belong to Israel, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Switzerland and the US. They weigh about 500 kg. The three Indian satellites are Cartosat-2 series, weighing 730 kg as primary payload, and INS-IA and INS-1B, weighing 30 kg.

Setting a record in its space program, ISRO in June had successfully launched 20 satellites, including its earth observation Cartosat-2 series, in a single mission on board PSLV-C34 from the spaceport in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The space agency had earlier sent 10 satellites into orbit on a single mission in 2008. Calling 2016 a “good” year, Kumar said ISRO would launch at least five communication satellites in 2017.

“It (launches) will be more next year, we are actually looking at almost something like five communication satellites, then many more others. Some earth observation also,” he said in response to a question on the number of launches that can be expected in 2017. “In the year we are primarily trying to do our GSLV Mark III, then Mark II… one more launch we are trying to do,” Kumar said.

The first three months should see three launches, beyond which ISRO was targeting almost one a month, he said on the sidelines of the 21st convocation of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS).

Stating that 2016 was a good year because ISRO was able to improve on what they were doing the previous year, Kumar said the main emphasis now was on building capacity. “We need more and more capacity, launch capacity. We are working toward that. Our effort is to continuously increase,” he added.

On transponder augmentation that ISRO is looking for, he said, “GSAT-17 is having another 48 transponders, then there is a SAARC satellite which will have about 12 transponders, then we are getting into the next generation GSAT-11 and GSAT-19. We are trying to do something like 14 gigabyte and 90 gigabyte type of thing- multi beam satellites.”

Noting that ISRO is conducting tests for hazard avoidance for Chandrayaan 2 as it lands, he said, “We are verifying the performance of the system as designed.”

“Chandrayaan 2, we are preparing for hazard avoidance, as it lands then it has to avoid boulders and things. We are verifying the performance of the system as designed, so there are some craters created and as it comes down how it negotiates. We are evaluating the performance of the system,” he added. ISRO has been conducting these tests at its facility in Challakere in Chitradurga district of Karnataka.

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Airtel Digital HD Recorder / Kerala Vision Digital TV
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