Thursday, February 02, 2017

Indian rockets launching Indian and foreign satellites..

How India is getting ready to give leadership to the satellite launch industry of the world.

Here are some interesting facts on the number of satellites launched by the different nations of the world.

Of the total 2271 satellites in space orbiting earth (data as of February 2017), 1324 satellites belong to Russia (58%), while United States has 658 satellites (29%) orbiting the earth. (info courtesy Goddard Space Flight Centre, US)
India has 39 satellites, solely serving India and has launched using it's rockets 79 satellites for foreign countries orbiting the earth. Of the 39 Indian satellites, 17 are for earth observation and meteorological applications, 13 for communication purposes, 7 for navigational purpose and 2 of space vehicle type. (incl the Astrosat space telescope).

Of the 79 foreign satellites India has launched so far, 19 are for United States (24%), 11 for Canada (14%) and 10 for Germany (13%) and the rest for nations like Singapore(8, 10%), UK (7, 9%), Japan (3 nos.), Indonesia (3 nos.), Israel (1 no.), France (2 nos.), Netherlands (1 no.) , Algeria (3 nos.), Denmark (1 no.), Switzerland (1 no.), Luxembourg (1 no.), Turkey ( 2 nos.)  etc... 

By the middle of February 2017 when India would have put a record 104 satellites to orbit (88 for US), it would be a total of 107 satellites launched for US (58%) of the 180 foreign satellites launched by India. India by then would have launched 42 satellites for its own use into space.

Early March '17, India will put the GSLV Mk III into space with a 4 T payload ..
From a growing space power that launched weather balloons and satellites under the leadership of then PM, Pandit Nehru and Dr. Vikram Sarabhai from Thumba Trivandrum in 1962 by name INCOSPAR to ISRO in 1969, the first Indian satellite Aryabhatta was launched aboard the Soviet Kosmos 3M rocket from Kapustin Yar on April 19, 1975. 

In 55 years India has matured to become a global space power, providing commercial launch services of satellites for other countries of the world, of which the biggest beneficiary is the United States. With improvement in technology and miniaturisation of electronic components, satellites are getting smaller and smaller these days. Micro and nano satellites are the order of the day.

Since United States has been unable to contain its upward spiralling space mission costs, India proving to be a very reliable and less expensive space power has been able to establish itself as the new space power. US has realised over time that it cannot offer any credible competition to India in the commercial launch market in the near future.

The day is not far when India will not only be the leader of low earth orbit missions launching satellites, it will also be the top leader of the world in providing reliable and less expensive manned Mars and other inter planetary expeditions and even inter galactic missions for the development and growth of humanity.  

The Hindu newspaper report of the mid Feb '17 launch of 103/104 satellites aboard PSLV rocket.

george.. (Information courtesy Goddard Space Flight Centre US and

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