India on Friday reaffirmed its space prowess and commercial launch capabilities as it successfully launched its 100th satellite along with 30 other spacecraft including weather observation Cartosat 2 series onboard the Polar rocket from here. This was PSLV’s longest-ever mission.
With the successful launch, including 28 satellites from foreign countries, by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) put behind a rare failure it encountered four months ago.
The ISRO had suffered a setback after the failure of the earlier PSLV-C39 mission in August last year. The previous mission to launch backup navigation satellite IRNSS-1H on board PSLV-C39 had failed after the heat shield did not separate in the final leg of the launch sequence, with the satellite getting stuck in the fourth stage of the rocket.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed ISRO scientists for the successful PSLV C-40 mission.
A visibly relieved ISRO chairman A S Kiran Kumar, on his final mission as the chief of the space agency, said he was happy to provide Cartosat 2 Series as a New Year gift for the country.
Friday’s mission marked a milestone in ISRO’s annals with a micro satellite, among the three Indian spacecraft launched, becoming the 100th to roll out through ISRO Satellite Centre Complex (ISAC).
Besides ISRO’s communication, weather observation, navigation and experimental spacecraft, the 100 satellites included nano and micro spacecraft made by educational institutions in the country, Kumar, who is retiring later this month, said.