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ISRO Set To Make A New Record, To Launch 20 Satellites Today

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to place multiple satellites into the orbit in a single launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Andhra Pradesh's Sriharikota on Wednesday. At 9.26 am, the PSLV rocket will lift off with 20 satellites totally weighing 1,288 kg.

India's earth observation satellite Cartosat-2 series is among the 20 satellites that will be launched on Wednesday. Others include satellites of Google company Terra Bella's SkySat Gen2, former NASA employee's Planet Labs Dove Satellites, satellites from the US, Canada, Germany and Indonesia. Two satellites from Chennai's Sathyabama University and College of Engineering, Pune will also be launched on Wednesday.

The mission would carry LAPAN A3 of Indonesia, BIROS of Germany, SKYSAT GEN 2-1 of US, MVV of Germany among the micro satellites, ISRO sources had earlier said.

According to ISRO, the rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) is being fuelled at the second launch pad at the rocket port in Sriharikota. The rocket's main cargo will be India's 725.5 kg Cartosat-2 series satellite for earth observation.

This satellite is similar to the earlier Cartosat-2, 2A and 2B. The whole mission will get over in around 26 minutes. The images sent by Cartosat satellite will be useful for cartographic, urban, rural, coastal land use, water distribution and other applications.

According to ISRO, the 110 kg SkySat Gen2-1 belonging to Terra Bella, a Google company, is a small earth imaging satellite capable ofcapturing sub-meter resolution imagery and high definition video.

The Planet Lab's Dove Satellites are also earth imaging satellites. A total of 12 Dove satellites each weighing 4.7 kg are carried in this mission inside three QuadPack dispensers, ISRO said.

The PSLV rocket will also carry 85 kg M3MSat from Canada. The technology demonstration mission is jointly funded and managed by Defence Research and Development Canada and the Canadian Space Agency.

On the other hand, the 1.5 kg Sathyabamasat from Sathyabama University will collect data on greenhouse gases while the 1 kg Swayam satellite from College of Engineering, Pune will provide point-to-point messaging services to the HAM radio community.

Wednesday's mission will be the first time the ISRO will be launching more the 10 satellites with a single rocket. In 2008, the ISRO had launched 10 satellites with the PSLV rocket. The 48-hour countdown began on Monday at 9.26 am after the launch authorisation board (LAB) gave its nod and filling of Mixed Oxides of Nitrogen (MON-3) of PS4 was completed.

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