India on Wednesday put 20 satellites into the Earth’s orbit, including 17 from foreign countries, a record number for its space agency as it seeks to become a low-cost and reliable choice for launches.
The successful mission by the Indian Space Research Organisation puts it right after Russia and the U.S. for the number of satellites launched from a single rocket so far, said an ISRO official. In 2014, a single Russian space launch vehicle deployed 33 satellites. A National Aeronautics and Space Administration rocket carried 29 satellites in 2013.
ISRO’s rocket, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, carried its own Cartosat-2 series satellite for earth observation along with 13 satellites from the U.S., two from Canada, one each from Germany and Indonesia and two from Indian academic institutions.
“ISRO continues to break new barriers,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on his Twitter account. He said the country’s space program “has time and again shown the transformative potential of science and technology in people’s lives.”
The launch comes as global space agencies face competition from private companies who are aiming to bring down the cost and time for manufacturing and launching satellites by automating their production and using unmanned reusable rockets.
India has been fast achieving recognition as a budget option for launching satellites. In 2014,ISRO put a satellite into the orbit of Mars, becoming the first Asian country to reach the red planet, and at fraction of the cost of a similar launch in U.S. and Europe.
In May ISRO launched the test model of its planned reusable space shuttle. In April, it launched the seventh satellite needed to create its own navigation system, joining a small group of nations with their own versions of GPS.
The global space industry was estimated to be worth $330 billion in 2014, the latest year for which data are available, according to the Space Foundation, a U.S.-based research group. Commercial space activities comprised as much as 76% of the industry, it said.
There were 92 rocket launches in 2014, and Russia continues to hold its leadership in this area with 32 rocket launches, followed by U.S. with 32 and 11 by Europe, the Space Foundation said. It didn’t provide figures for India.
Ajay Lele, a senior fellow at New Delhi-based Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses estimates the U.S. has about a 40% share of the global satellite-launching market, while Europe has 25% and Russia 20%. Countries such as China and India have a much smaller share of the market of about 3% percent or less, Mr. Lele said.
ISRO officials said after the launch they want to accelerate the pace of sending satellites into space by extending partnerships with private Indian companies. The space organization has launched more than 57 satellites from about 20 countries on board the PSLV over about two decades.
Source : The
Wall Street Journal
Thank You ISRO - Indian Space Research Organisation for achieving this feat...!