The 144-foot-tall (44-meter) PSLV set for launch Friday will deliver India's Cartosat 2F mapping satellite to orbit, along with 30 secondary payloads for Indian, U.S., South Korean, British, French, Canadian, and Finnish customers. Of the 31 satellites, three are Indian and the rest are from Canada, Finland, France, South Korea, UK and the US.
This will be ISRO's first launch in 2018 and also the first after the unsuccessful mission of IRNSS-1H in August past year.
Today's launch came over four months after ISRO suffered a setback when a satellite launch mission failed shortly after a PSLV rocket blasted off into space. The rocket was also carrying 30 co-passengers at lift-off at 9.28 am.
The last launch of IRNSS-1H - India's first surreptitiously built satellite - on August 31, 2017, had registered his failure due to a freak accident. "As a result of that the satellite is inside the heat shield.", ISRO chairman A S Kiran Kumar was quoted as saying by news agency PTI on August 31.
"My heartiest congratulations to ISRO and its scientists on the successful launch of PSLV today".
India's space program has a budget of around $4 billion and Modi's government hopes the latest launches will improve its prospects of winning a larger share of the more than $300 billion global space industry.
Referring to the previous launch, he said it had heat shield problem and an ISRO committee had addressed it and taken steps to ensure the vehicle was "robust".
The Cartosat-2, whose imagery will be used to develop various land and geographical information system applications, was placed in a circular polar sun synchronous orbit 505 km from the Earth.
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