ISRO hits century; launches Cartosat satellite, 30 others



Apart from two Indian weather satellites, the rocket carried 28 micro and nano-satellites from Canada, Finland, France, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States.

National television broadcasted live the departure at 09:29, local time, of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), the rocket moving the satellites into space.

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January 12 (ANI): Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh on Friday credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the successes Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) has achieved during the past four years. "It launched 31 satellites, including three Indian and 28 commercial satellites".

India's space programme has a budget of around US$4 billion (S$5.3 billion) and the Modi government hopes that the latest launches will improve its prospects of winning a larger share of the more than US$300 billion global space industry.

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The agency stopped the launches in August past year, when the sending of IRNSS-1H navigation satellite failed due to problems with a PSLV.

Isro's Telemetry Tracking and Command Network centre in Bangalore has begun tracking the satellites, the space agency said.About 16 minutes after lift-off, the PSLV had climbed into a position above Earth where its satellites would achieve a polar Sun synchronous orbit of 503km. The total weight of all the satellites is estimated around 1323 kg, as per ISRO's official website.

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Commenting on the mission, ISRO chairman A S Kiran Kumar, who will be resigning from his position on January 14, said, "ISRO is starting 2018 with the successful launch". The surveillance satellite that weighs 710 kilograms will also help India monitor its borders and keep an eye on neighbors.

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