BENGALURU — India will be launching its 100th satellite into space Jan. 12 along with 30 other satellites, including 28 from six other countries, from its spaceport in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, said a top space agency official Jan. 9.
"Of the three Indian spacecraft being launched on Jan. 12, the 100 kg micro satellite will be the 100th that will be ejected out of the rocket last into the earth's orbit," Indian Space Research Organization Satellite Center Director M. Annadurai told IANS here.
The other two Indian satellites are 71 kg Cartosat in 2 series for earth observation and a 5 kg nano satellite.
"With these three satellites, ISRO would have sent 100 satellites into the space. We are all eagerly waiting for that. It will be a maiden century," said Annadurai, on the sidelines of a space expo.
The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle will also be ISRO's 40th space mission.
On Jan. 12 at 9:28 a.m., the PSLV-C40 will launch three micro satellites and 25 nano satellites from Canada, Finland, France, South Korea, Britain and the U.S.
The total weight of the 31 satellites to be launched is about 1,323 kg.
The first space mission in 2018 onboard the PSLV-C40 comes four months after a similar rocket failed to deliver the country's eighth navigation satellite into the earth's lower orbit Aug. 31.
"The PSLV had a very successful run up to its 39th mission, which was a setback as the heat shield failed to separate," Annadurai said, adding that the ISRO was conducting tests to ensure the problem does not occur in this mission.
"We have studied in detail as to what could have gone wrong and are making sure it does not repeat. With PSLV-C40, we are back in the game," he said.
As an observational satellite, Cartosat will beam high-quality images for cartography, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation, and utility management, such as road network monitoring.
The space agency plans to have at least one launch a month this year.
ISRO will also be launching its second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2, to the moon, with an orbiter, lander and rover for the first time.