15 February 2017

Another Indian Science Triumph

Today India once again has made history. Even if USA and Russia might be the countries we most often associate with space ventures, India has also invested a lot in space activities – and been very successful! Today's record launch of 104 satellites in one single mission with good measure beats the earlier Russian record of launching 37 satellites in one go.

I have mentioned the high competence of Indian technicians in this blog many times before, even if it mostly has been in a context of computer program development. But India is also a leading space nation. ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization), the governmental space agency that launched the satellites today, is highly respected worldwide.

India has an ambitious space program, and I especially like that it largely focuses on social benefit. Earth observations from satellites allow mapping, weather services, agricultural planning and disaster management, and instead of building a fiber network, like we do in Sweden, India uses telecom satellites to provide the country with internet.

To be independent of other countries, India has developed their own cost-effective and reliable launch systems. I have earlier written about the Mars Orbiter Mission, which got a spacecraft into orbit around Mars in 2014, and the record launch this morning was another triumph. It involved complex issues in management and maneuvering to avoid collisions among all the satellites.

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle carried one main satellite for earth observations and 103 smaller nanosatellites, most of them from the United States but also from other countries (Israel, Kazakhstan, The Netherlands, Switzerland and United Arab Emirates). It took less than ten minutes for the rocket to spew out its "passengers".

Congratulations to the success!
Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions