ISRO beginning new year literally with a bang! Set to launch 31 satellites, 3rd Cartosat-2: All in one go on January 10

ISRO is beginning the new year literally with a bang with 31 simultaneous satellite launches!

India’s premier space research agency — ISRO — on Friday announced that it would launch 31 satellites, including a Cartosat-2 series earth observation space craft, in a single mission onboard its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C40) on January 10 (tentatively).

Launch of 31 satellites and 3rd Cartosat-2

  • The mission will also include 28 nano-satellites from other countries, including Finland, and the United States, besides one micro and another nano-satellite from India
  • The 1st space mission in 2018 onboard the Polar rocket (44.4 metres) is a follow-up to the 4-month ago technical failure of a similar rocket

Read: ISRO to launch another satellite of Cartosat-2 series by June-end for high-res spot imagery

  • The launch will be from ISRO’s spaceport at Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh (100 km from Chennai)


  • The observational spacecraft, Cartosat-2 weighs 720 kg and would be the 3rd satellite of the Cartosat-2 series
  • The spacecraft is the main payload for the mission
  • Cartosat-2 carries panchromatic and multi-spectral cameras operating in time delay integration mode and is capable of delivering high-resolution data
  • The advanced remote sensing satellite has the objective of providing high-resolution scene-specific spot imagery


“The imagery sent by satellite will be useful for cartographic applications, urban and rural applications coastal land use and regulation, utility management like road network monitoring, water distribution, creation of land use maps, and various other Land Information Systems, as well as Geographical Information Systems,” says ISRO’s website.

A senior ISRO official told PTI that the Launch Authorization Board and The Mission Readiness Review Committee will be meeting them next week to take a final call regarding the launching of the mission.

Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle

  • PSLV is a 3rd-generation launch vehicle indigenously designed and developed by ISRO
  • It is one of the world’s most reliable and versatile workhorse (launch vehicles) with 39 consecutively successful missions by June 2017
  • It is a 4-stage launch vehicle and the 1st Indian rocket to be equipped with liquid stages
  • It can take up to 1,750 kg of payload to Sun-Synchronous Polar Orbits (SSPO) of 600 km altitude and payload of 1,425 kg to Geosynchronous and Geostationary orbits

Stages of PSLV

4th: The uppermost stage or 4th stage of PSLV comprises 2 earth-storable liquid engines.

3rd: This stage is a solid rocket motor that provides the upper stages a high thrust after the atmospheric phase of the launch.

2nd: The second stage of PSLV uses an earth-storable liquid rocket engine — Vikas engine — developed by Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre.

Vikas engine


1st: The first stage uses the S139 solid rocket motor that is augmented by 6 solid strap-on boosters.

Successes of PSLV

From 1994-2017, PSLV has launched 48 Indian satellites and 209 satellites for customers from abroad.

It has been in service for over 20 years and has launched historic missions like Chandrayaan-1, Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System – Navigation Indian Constellation (IRNSS- NAVIC), to name a few.

Thanks to ISRO

Read: 34 Indian satellites are up and running in space: Read to know more about Indian satellites

  • ISRO’s commendable cost-cutting back-to-back successes have upped India’s game in the growing commercial market for space-based surveillance and communication
  • Up to June 2017, ISRO has launched 278 satellites using locally developed launch vehicles into space

Read: These 5 achievements by ISRO proves that the space agency had a record-breaking 2017

  • Earlier this year, it launched 104 satellites in a single launch, which tripled the previous record for single-day launches and set a world record!

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