An Indian rocket named Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) on Wednesday morning lifted off successfully with the country's earth observation satellite Cartosat, Google company Terra Bella’s SkySat Gen2-1 and 18 other satellites from the Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh.
The PSLV rocket standing 44.4 metres and weighing 320 tonne, tore into the morning skies at 9.26 am, breaking free of the earth’s gravitational pull.
The 20 satellites weighed 1,288 kg.
The rocket's main cargo is 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 other 19 satellites weighing totally around 560 kg are from US, Canada, Germany and Indonesia as well as one satellite each from Chennai's Sathyabama University and College of Engineering, Pune.
The whole launch mission will be completed in around 26 minutes.
Andhra Pradesh: ISRO launches record 20 satellites from Sriharikota pic.twitter.com/t5FnVjfzq4
— ANI (@ANI_news) June 22, 2016
The countdown began after the launch authorisation board (LAB) gave its nod and filling of Mixed Oxides of Nitrogen (MON-3) of PS4 was completed on Monday.
Cartosat-2 Series is similar to the earlier Cartosat-2, 2A and 2B, and 19 co-passenger satellites together weighing about 560 kg at lift-off would be injected into a 505-km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit.
The mission carries 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.
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 a 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 is the first time Isro will be launching more the 10 satellites with a single rocket.
In 2008, Isro had launched 10 satellites with the PSLV rocket.
The launch will undoubtedly help attract more foreign clients. And until now, India has launched 57 foreign satellites successfully.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Jun 22, 2016 09:45:05 IST