ISRO, the Indian Space Agency will be launching 103 satellites in a single go. The launch will happen in February aboard the ISRO workhorse, PSLV-C37. ISRO was to launch 83 satellites earlier but later decided to add 20 more satellites to the list and also advanced the launch date. ISRO will be using the heaviest version of its PSLV series.
This year will be an eventful one for ISRO with more than five high-profile launches in the first quarter. It will also feature the GSLV-Mark III, and also a “Launch Pad Abort” test which will be a part of the Manned Flight Mission. The PSLV C37 will carry three major satellites along with 100 smaller satellites from some countries including the USA, Israel, Kazakhstan, Neither land.
The GSLV-Mark III will launch a geostationary communications satellite, which will help South Asian nations during a disaster and establish a hotline between these foreign ministries. The satellite was to be named the SAARC satellite but after Pakistan’s reluctance was changed to South Asia satellite. It will be used by the other members of SAARC, Bhutan, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, and India.
The GSLV-Mark III is the heaviest of the GSLV series and will ultimately use for the manned mission later. It also features an Indian-made cryogenic engine in its upper stage. India had to develop the cryogenic engine after Russia renegade on its promise to provide the technology after intense US pressure.
ISRO will also try to push in its Pad Abort Test which will try out an escape mechanism for future astronauts in the future manned mission. India is to become a major player in the space hardware transport market. India is offering some of the cheapest space hardware launch costs. Like the US, India is also encouraging private enterprise to become a part of its space mission. Many components of its trusted workhorse, PSLV has been outsourced to private players.