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PSLV-C37 Successfully Launches 104 Satellites in a Single Flight (isro.gov.in)
363 points by happy-go-lucky 218 days ago | hide | past | web | 43 comments | favorite

104 satellites were deployed in this mission:

a) Cartosat 2 Series - primary payload.

b) 88xDove (88x3U CubeSats) - 22 QuadPack deployers.

c) 8xLEMUR (8x3U CubeSats) - 2 QuadPack deployers.

d) BGUSat (3U CubeSat), PEASSS (3U CubeSat), DIDO-2 (3U CubeSat), Al-Farabi-1 (2U CubeSat), and Nayif-1 (1U CubeSat) - 1 QuadPack deployer.

e) INS-1A and INS-1B are not in CubeSat format. So, they need to be mounted separately on payload adapter.

So, 1 primary payload + 25 QuadPack deployers + 2 nano-sats in total.

Pics of Quadpacks at: https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/02/14/indian-rocket-set-to-p...

PSLV is undoubtedly among the cheapest launch vehicles (the cost includes that of PSLV-XL variant, other variants are even cheaper). The launch contracts are usually negotiated according to price per kg of payload to the orbit. Given that the estimated value of the space industry today is around ~$200 billion, ISRO should charge higher price for foreign country satellites it launches through its subsidiary Antrix. ISRO is the jewel in the crown for India and congratulations to all those wonderful scientists who are making India proud.

Wish the 11th President of India Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam were here to witness this! He was the project director of India's first Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) which successfully deployed the Rohini satellite in near-earth orbit in July 1980. Between the 1970's and 1990's, Dr. Kalam made an effort to develop the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and SLV-III projects, both of which proved to be successful.

He would have been so proud. He was such an inspirational figure. When I was a kid my father used to tell me to be like Kalam.

I think so.

An aside, your username tells me a lot about you :)

I believe in self-taught knowledge.

His biography "wings of fire" is very fascinating.

My mum used to say a lot about it, Gotta read it now :D

I've read that, too. It's good.

Launch video, including onboard footage of stage seperations and satellite deploys: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQMCw-jMQlo

Fab! Thanks.

Curious: when satellites are ejected this way, is it controlled (as in, do they control the ejection velocity etc.) or is it just "dropped" out?

That's fantastic. Thank you.

wow, that was really fascinating!

More details about the Planet Labs deployment on this launch:


It is now the largest private satellite constellation ever.

Haha that's awesome, I hope that's legit eg. originated from the cube-sat though probably not? Anyway still cool.

It is! The doves actually tweet!

Oh that's cool! Although not AI, just a script "when met post this" sort of thing but awesome non-the-less. Too bad you can't get access to them "Hey, if you happen to pass over this person's house, take a picture" haha. Awesome though. Would be cool to see a readout of real-time sensor data.

ISRO staff transporting the nose cone of a rocket on bicycle:


PSLV-C37 / Cartosat -2 Series Mission Successfully Launched all 104 Satellites


What's the hard part about deploying multiple satellites? Is it making sure they reach different orbits or is it just carrying them or something else?

One of the challenges is to pack all those satellites in launch vehicle's payload adapter. The payload adapter on launch vehicle needs to be flexible enough to allow such varying number of payloads. In this mission, ISRO had to realize a new/modified payload adapter to carry those 104 satellites.

Next is to accurately inject all those satellites - either into their respective orbits if it's a multi-orbit mission, or with sufficient time gap and re-orientation between injections if it's a single-orbit mission.

This was a single orbit mission (all sats released into SSO). So, PSLV's 4th stage had to time those 104 satellite injections. It also need to re-orient itself for each injection depending on satellite's requirement. This mission had as many as 103 "separation events". All this logic is pre-programmed and executed by launch vehicle's onboard computer.

Check out QuadPacks lined up before the launch: http://blog.isilaunch.com/the-quadpack-line-up/

And, check out those QuadPacks mounted on PSLV payload adapter around primary payload: https://imgur.com/a/LM9Cp

The hardest part is in ensuring that the satellites are launched in different directions to avoid them colliding when being deployed in orbit. These satellites have to be in the same orbit but with increasing distance between them.

From what I understand, these satellites were injected into the heliosynchronous orbit (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun-synchronous_orbit) at different slots, different angles and at different times.

However, the sole idea behind deploying 104 satellites is not to create a record of some sort but to utilize the maximum capacity of the workhorse rocket (PSLV). This results in greater ROI for the Space Agencies (Antrix / ISRO) as most of these 104 satellites (101 I think) were foreign satellites.

According to this article: http://tech.firstpost.com/news-analysis/isro-to-recover-half... ISRO will recover half of the total cost incurred for the launch from foreign satellites mounted on the PSLV.

> the sole idea behind deploying 104 satellites is not to create a record of some sort but to utilize the maximum capacity of the workhorse rocket (PSLV).

+1. The PSLV is one of the world's most reliable launch vehicles. It has been in service for over 20 years.

PSLV-C37 / Cartosat -2 Series Satellite - Integration Video


Inspiring ISRO. Anytime.

Really inspiring. They've perfected their craft.

CubeSats came a long way from being a hitchhiker to main payload to significant percentage of total payload.

The question is when, CubeSats will be the primary payload.

Aerospace scientist and former President of India Dr. Kalam working on a rocket part:


India launches record 104 satellites in single mission


is anyone else concerned about countries deploying their own satelittes to archieve the same thing? Doesnt the orbit get crowded?

Out of the total 104 satellites, 101 satellites belong to six foreign countries. They include 96 from the US and one each from Israel, the UAE, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Kazakhstan.

> Doesnt the orbit get crowded?

Hope you'll have the answer here: http://www.popsci.com/space-junk-why-cant-we-see-satellites-...

Satellites are expensive, people rarely deploy them for fun. If an existing satellite offered the same functionality people would likely license data/airtime/what-have-you from the operator of that satellite rather than launching their own.

As long as their orbital information is properly registered and they have a proper end-of-life plan for them there's little risk in deploying new satellites; if you want to get concerned about crowding the orbits, China deliberately blowing up a satellite a couple of years ago was much more problematic.

Remember majority of satellites on this flight didn't belong to just India.

congrats to planet labs, currently the hottest place to work in SV.

How did you make that connection ?

Of the 104 satellites, some 88 are Planet Labs'.

Ok, I did not know that. Thanks.

What do you mean by SV?

Silicon Valley, I suppose.

Doesn't it make drones more dangerous?

Why's that?


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