ISRO Rockets Can Take 400 Satellites to Space at a Time, Says Former Chairman

Noted space scientist G Madhavan Nair on Wednesday said ISRO’s feat of launch of 104 satellites in one go was achieved by proven technology, and the rocket has the capability to launch even 400 nano spacecraft.

ISRO Rockets Can Take 400 Satellites to Space at a Time, Says Former Chairman

“This is no new technology. We (Indian Space Research Organisation) started with ten satellites (on board a single rocket), then went to 18 or something; then it’s 35. Now it’s 100. If you make 3 or 4kg satellite, it (PSLV) can take 300 to 400 satellites at a time,” the former ISRO Chairman told PTI.

India today successfully launched a record 104 satellites – all but three of them foreign – from Sriharikota and put them into orbit in a single mission onboard its most dependable Polar rocket.

The PSLV Wednesday first launched the 714kg Cartosat-2 Series satellite for earth observation and then injected 103 co-passenger satellites, together weighing about 664 kg at lift-off.

“This number (104 satellites) has not demonstrated any new technology; it’s a proven technology which is being used,” said Nair, apparently refusing to share the euphoria over the launch.

“Cartosat is the real thing, the country needs it; it’s the main passenger and the spare capacity (of PSLV) was used to carry this many (the remaining 103) satellites. That’s all,” said the former Secretary in the Department of Space and ex-Chairman of Space Commission.

“Certainly, it (the launch of 104 satellites on board a single rocket) is a very significant milestone as far as ISRO is concerned. Of course, the technology we have proven earlier. About 30 satellites have been launched (at one go) earlier also. It’s an extension of that. But when you count it in numbers, it’s huge,” he said.

But the usefulness of the satellites that were launched is the most important, according to him.

“One worry is that these (103 satellites) are tiny satellites which at the best can have a life of one or two years; after that it really become space debris. Since they are small in size, they may not be amenable for tracking and finding out their positions and things like that. They become passive. To that extent, that worry is there,” he said.

Budget 2016 gives Major boost to Department of Space

Of the Rs 7509 crore budget allocation, Rs 1509 crore has been earmarked for different projects. In a boost to the Department of Space (DoS), theUnion budget 2016-17allocated Rs 7509 crore to the department, an increase of around Rs 550 crore as compared to the last budget.

Of the Rs 7509 crore budget allocation, Rs 1509 crore has been earmarked for different projects.

In 2015-16, the revised budget for DoS was Rs 6959 crore, of which Rs 1359 crore was earmarked for various projects.

ISRO is the only science related department/ ministry, which has seen such a whooping hike in its budget.

The Department of Atomic Energy, which as the DoS comes under the Prime Minister’s Office, has witnessed a wafer thin cut in its budget.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley allocated Rs 381 crore for Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre while Satish Dhawan Space Research Centre, Rs 173 crore.
Last year, the non-plan outlay for different projects was Rs 1359 crore as compared to Rs 1509 crore this year.
Money has also been earmarked for Chandrayaan 2, GSLV Mark III project and the INSAT satellite system.
The Department of Space will implement important missions like the proposed SAARC satellite mission later this year.

In the Union budget 2016-17, the Ministry of Science and Technology has been allocated Rs 9,488 crore as compared to Rs 10,361 in 2015-16 while the proposed allocation to Ministry of Earth Science is Rs 1,418 crore in 2016-17 which was Rs 1,672 crore in 2015-16.