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article imageIndian space agency plans to launch 103 satellites next month

By Karen Graham     Jan 30, 2017 in Technology
For the Indian Space Agency Organization (ISRO), it's not a matter of how many satellites they can launch at one time, but the cost-cutting measures used while maintaining the safety and integrity of the launch.
A total of 103 satellites will be launched in mid-February, with three belonging to India and the other smaller nano-satellites coming from five other countries, including the United States, according to Mashable.
When the ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C-37 comes off the launch pad, that will be the easy part. The really amazing and technically difficult part will come when the satellites are separated from the PSLV. The New Indian Express likens this part of the operation to maneuvering the PSLV C-37 mission through a busy street full of cars, trucks, and motorbikes to avoid a collision.
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The orbital space surrounding the Earth has become a crowded highway, with over 1,200 active satellites, both private and governmental circling the planet. There are also over 2,600 satellites in orbit that are no longer working. And while Russia launched the first satellite, Sputnik-1 in 1957, the oldest satellite in orbit, though not functioning, was launched in 1958.
So this means it's very crowded up there. Mr. K Sivan, director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), the nodal agency for ISRO’s launch vehicles, told the Express, ’The number of satellites is not the big thing here. The real complexity lies in deciding with precision the actual orientation, angle and time interval of separation of the satellites. None of the satellites should collide with each other during separation in orbit."
Pulling the feat off will require launching the larger Indian satellites first, separating them "axially along the vehicle," said Mr. B. Jayakumar, mission director at ISRO reports the Wall Street Journal.
ISRO made global headlines in 2013 after it successfully launched an unmanned mission to orbit Mars ...
ISRO made global headlines in 2013 after it successfully launched an unmanned mission to orbit Mars, spending just $73 million
, ISRO/AFP/File
This will be followed by the separation of 80 satellites in a radial direction, all the while maintaining different angles of orientation. “And finally the remaining 20 satellites will be released in a different sequence that has been worked out,” he said.
ISRO is getting used to setting big records. In June of last year, they put 20 satellites into orbit in a single mission, and in 2014, they became the first Asian country to put a satellite into orbit around Mars.
More about Isro, World record, nano satellites, cost cutting measure, satellites in orbit
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