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In first mission of 2018, space agency launches 100th satellite

In first mission of 2018, space agency launches 100th satellite

Nellore: The countdown for the launch of the PSLV on Friday, which will place the Cartosat-2 and 30 smaller satellites in space, has begun at 5.38 am on Thursday at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Shar, Srihari-kota in Nellore district.

The satellites will be placed into two orbits- thirty of the satellites in an orbit of 550 km, and one 359-km above the Earth. More than half of the micro and nano satellites were for the Unites States, and the remainder India, Canada, Finland, France, South Korea and the United Kingdom. This was one of the keenly followed missions in the aftermath of an expected failure suffered in August past year. While it was a historic moment for India - especially after the unsuccessful launch of the IRNSS-1H satellite in August of previous year. Around 17 minutes after the lift-off, the rocket injected its main payload - the 710kg weighing Cartosat-2 Series, the seventh satellite in the series - into the Polar Sun synchronous orbit at an altitude of about 510km.

The launch follows the failed August 31 mission where after a stable launch, the backup navigation satellite IRNSS-1H PSLV-39 suffered from a technical fault in its final leg and could not be put back in orbit.

Today'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).

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Today, the space agency said that the successful PSLV launch proved that the problems identified during last year's failure have been addressed and rectified. This is carrying 31 satellites, together with three from India and 28 from six other nations. Between these two orbits, the engine of the PSLV's fourth stage will be re-activated twice.

India's space program has a budget of around $4 billion and Modi's government hopes the latest launches will improve its prospects of winning a larger share of the more than $300 billion global space industry.

Heat shield PSLV rocket, a known workhorse, failed to separate after launch. "This is a technology demonstrator and the forerunner for future satellites of this series", the ISRO said.

"This is a very special moment for ISRO", said K Sivan after the launch was deemed successful. The images will be used for cartographic applications, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation, road network monitoring, water distribution, creation of land use maps among other things. "We are coming to the launch pad after four months".