Isro’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C37 on Wednesday injected India’s weather observation Cartosat-2 Series satellite and 103 nano satellites, including 96 from the US, into orbit after a textbook lift-off from Sriharikota space centre.
The launch was “another success for the Indian Space Research Organisation, which is rapidly gaining a reputation globally for its effective yet low-cost missions,” The Washington Post said, noting that India has already sent up dozens of satellites, including 20 at once last year.
The New York Times said that by sending a flock of 104 satellites into space within minutes, nearly tripling the previous record for single-day satellite launches, establishes India as a “key player” in a growing commercial market for space-based surveillance and communication.
“The launch was high-risk because the satellites, released in rapid-fire fashion every few seconds from a single rocket as it traveled at 17,000 miles an hour, could collide with one another in space if ejected into the wrong path,” the paper noted.
“Forget the US versus Russia. The real space race is taking place in Asia,” CNN commented.
London’s Times newspaper reported that by today’s feat, India has reinforced its ambition to join the elite space-faring nations.
Many of India’s landmark missions have cost far less than their equivalents in Russia, Europe and the US. Isro’s Mars mission cost $73 million+ , compared with Nasa’s Maven Mars launch, which came in at $671 million, the British paper pointed out.