satish dhawan

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India sets new world record, launching 104 satellites at once.

Creating a new world record in the process, India successfully kicked off their 217 launch calendar February 14 by launching a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle with 104 satellites. The rocket launched at 10:58pm EST from the Satish Dhawan Space Center.

Lofted into a sun-synchronous orbit by the rocket’s fourth stage, 101 cubesats accompanied three larger satellites on the mission. CartoSat-2D is the fourth in a series of high-resolution Earth-imaging satellites domestically designed by India. Less than ten seconds after CartoSat-2D was deployed, the INA-1A and 1B satellites were released. These two satellites are technology demonstrators for a new, smaller satellite bus that India hopes can attract universities and small businesses for space-based payloads.

Of the 101 cubesats deployed, 88 belonged to the Planet company, which - when combined with 100 identical satellites already in polar orbit- will photograph the entire surface of the Earth every day. Eight other cubesats belonged to Spire Global, and will measure atmospheric conditions and global shipping traffic. The remaining five are scientific and communication technology demonstrators

ISRO - the Indian Space Research organization - released a stunning video of the PSLV launch, the first time footage from onboard rocket cameras have been released. Key events in the rocket’s ascent can be seen, including the jettisoning of its six strap-on solid rocket motors, separation of its second and third stages, and jettisoning of the payload fairing. 

P/C: ISRO

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More images of India’s first indigenous space shuttle. The Reusable Launch Vehicle Technology Demonstrator was launched at 7am IST Monday, May 23, from the First Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.

The 21.3-foot long, 1.75-ton RLV-TD was used on the HEX-1 flight, which tested hypersonic reentry profiles for reusable, winged spacecraft. Seeing its first use since the late 1980′s, the first stage of India’s first-ever rocket, the SLV-3, was used to boost the vehicle to an altitude of 65 kilometers.

Total mission elapsed time from launch to landing was 12 minutes, and the RLV-TD achieved a maximum speed of around Mach 5.

Check out our introductory story on the RLV-TD/HEX-1 mission here.

Launch photos and story can be seen here!

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India kicked off their 2016 launch campaign by orbiting their IRNSS-1E satellite early this morning (January 20). It is the fifth in a constellation of seven satellites comprising the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System, India’s domestic navigation network.

Liftoff occurred at 9:31 am India Standard Time ( 11:01pm EST January 19) from the Second Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Center. It was the 32nd launch of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, and the 11th in its XL configuration, which sports longer strap-on solid rocket boosters.