39th mission of the PSLV space-rocket program
Model of a rocket
Model of the PSLV rocket
Mission type Deployment of 104 satellites
Operator ISRO
Website ISRO website
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle
Spacecraft type Expendable launch vehicle
Manufacturer ISRO
Launch mass 320,000 kilograms (710,000 lb)
Payload mass 1,378 kilograms (3,038 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date 09:28:00, 15 February 2017 (2017-02-15T09:28:00) (IST)
Rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle
Launch site Sriharikota Launching Range
Contractor ISRO
Mass 1,500 kilograms (3,300 lb)

PSLV-C37 (also known as Cartosat-2 series satellite) was the 39th mission of the PSLV program and its 16th mission in XL configuration.[1] The PSLV-C37 successfully carried and deployed a record 104 satellites in Sun-synchronous orbit.[2] Launched on 15 February 2017 by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, it broke the earlier records of launching 37 satellites by Russian Dnepr rocket on 19 June 2014[3] and of 29 satellites by NASA's Minotaur rocket on 19 November 2013.[4][5][6] The cost of the launch was US$15 million. According to ISRO, the 101 international satellites were launched as part of a commercial arrangement between several countries and Antrix Corporation Limited, a company run by the Indian government under the Department of Space, a commercial arm of ISRO.[7]



The PSLV-C37 was launched from the First Launch Pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 09:28 IST on 15 February 2017. It carried a total of 104 satellites including the 714 kilograms (1,574 lb) primary payload Cartosat-2D.[2][8][9] The launcher started placing the satellites into a polar Sun-synchronous orbit one after the other after a flight of 16 minutes and 48 seconds.[2][10] It first injected the satellite Cartosat-2D at an altitude of 510.383 km, with 97.46 degrees inclination,[1] followed by the two ISRO nanosatellites INS-1A and INS-1B.[2][10] It then took 11 minutes for the PSLV C-37 to place the remaining 101 "co-passenger" satellites into their intended orbits.[9]

Soon after separation from the launch vehicle, the two solar arrays on board Cartosat-2D satellite were automatically deployed. Afterwards, ISRO's Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network at Bengaluru took over the control of the satellite. The satellite, once brought to its final operational configuration, will begin to provide remote sensing services using its panchromatic (black and white) and multispectral (colour) cameras. The mission lasted for 29 minutes.[10][1][9]

Originally PSLV-C37 was set to launch on 27 January 2017 with 83 satellites. With addition of twenty more satellites to the payload, the schedule was changed to 15 February 2017.[5][11]

Payload and other parametersEdit

  • Mass:
    • Total liftoff weight: 320,000 kilograms (710,000 lb)
    • Payload weight: 1,378 kilograms (3,038 lb)
  • Overall height: 44.4 metres (145.7 ft)
  • Propellant:
  • Altitude: 505 kilometres (314 mi)
  • Maximum velocity: 7,809.52 metres per second (25,622 ft/s) (recorded at time of Cartosat-2D separation)
  • Inclination: 97.46°
  • Period: 94.72 minutes
  • Source:[1]

The rocket launched Cartosat-2D and 103 nanosatellites: two from India, one each from Kazakhstan, Israel, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates, along with 96 from the United States of America (88 Dove satellites and 8 LEMUR satellites).[1] The three Indian satellites launched were Cartosat-2D, INS-1A, and INS-1B.[12] The 101 satellites were launched as a part of the commercial arrangements between Antrix Corporation Limited, the Department of Space by the Government of India, the commercial arm of ISRO, and the International customers.[7]

The Cartosat-2D weighs 714 kilograms (1,574 lb), and its design life is 5 years.[1] It will be used for Earth observation.[13] INS-1A and INS-1B are technology demonstrator nanosatellites envisioned for various experiments. INS-1A carries two payloads, Surface Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function Radiometer (SBR) and a Single Event Upset Monitor (SEUM). INS-1B carries Earth Exosphere Lyman-Alpha Analyzer (EELA) and Origami Camera as payloads.[1] The two satellites weigh 8.4 kilograms (19 lb) and 9.7 kilograms (21 lb) respectively and have been designed with a mission life of 6 months.[1][10] The 103 co-passenger satellites contributed to approximately 664 kilograms (1,464 lb) making the total payload of 1,378 kilograms (3,038 lb).[1] The total launch mass of the rocket was 320,000 kilograms (710,000 lb).[1] Among the 96 satellites belonging to US companies, 88 CubeSats were owned by Planet Labs, a Earth imaging private company based in San Francisco, California.[2] weighing around 5 kilograms (11 lb) each separated from the rocket in different directions to avoid collision.[14] With the launch of PSLV-C37, Planet Labs increased its fleet of satellites to 143, which is the largest private satellite fleet in operation.[2][15]

Eight Lemur-2 satellites belonging to Spire Global will provide vessel tracking and weather measurement services. These satellites have a lifespan of about two to three years and would require regular renewal.[2][16]

The PSLV-C37 used the rocket engine nozzle manufactured by Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh based company Resins and Allied Productions (RAP). This is the 100th nozzle manufactured by RAP being used in a PSLV.[17][11] Several components of the PSLV-C37 were manufactured by Larsen & Toubro at its advanced composite facility in Vadodara, Gujarat. The honeycomb deck panels used for mounting the heat shield and electronic packages on the upper stage of the PSLV, the antenna mount structure and the 13-metre diameter bull gear were all manufactured by L&T.[18]


The total cost of the mission was US$15 million for the 1378 kg payloads.[19] ISRO said that it would recover half the budget of the mission from the foreign countries whose satellites it would launch.[20]


The imagery from the Cartosat-2D, the primary satellite carried, will be used for various land information system and geographical information system applications in India. Two Indian nanosatellites, INS-1A and INS-1B, will be used for future science and experimental payloads. The DOVE satellites by the USA will be used to photograph the earth for commercial, environmental, and humanitarian purposes.[21] The LEMUR satellites will be used for vessel tracking and will be carrying weather measurements using GPS radio occultation. Al Farabi-1 from Kazakhstan, Nayif-1 from the United Arab Emirates, and PEASSS from The Netherlands are technology demonstrator satellites whereas DIDO-2 from Switzerland is a micro researcher satellite. BGUSAT from Israel will be primarily used for research and avionic systems.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "PSLV-C37 Brochure". Indian Space Research Organisation website. Retrieved 15 February 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Isro creates history, launches 104 satellites in one go". The Times of India. 15 February 2017. Retrieved 15 February 2017. 
  3. ^ Graham, William (19 June 2014). "Russian Dnepr rocket lofts record haul of 37 satellites". NASASpaceFlight. Retrieved 20 February 2017. 
  4. ^ "NASA's Minotaur Rocket Launch May Light Up Sky Along East Coast Tonight". The Huffington Post. 19 November 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2017. 
  5. ^ a b "ISRO's PSLV-C37 launch scheduled for 15 February at 9:00 am". Firstpost. 7 February 2017. Retrieved 7 February 2017. 
  6. ^ "Isro's launch of record 104 satellites". The Times of India. 15 February 2017. Retrieved 15 February 2017. 
  7. ^ a b "PSLV-C37 / Cartosat −2 Series Satellite". ISRO. 15 February 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  8. ^ "ISRO sets space record: Highlights of successful launch of Cartosat-2 and 103 other satellites". Hindustan Times. 15 February 2017. Retrieved 15 February 2017. 
  9. ^ a b c "ISRO launches 104 satellites in one go, creates history". The Hindu. 15 February 2017. Retrieved 15 February 2017. 
  10. ^ a b c d "PSLV-C37 Successfully Launches 104 Satellites in a Single Flight". ISRO. 15 February 2017. Retrieved 15 February 2017. 
  11. ^ a b "PSLV-C 37 scheduled for launch on January 27". The Hindu. 18 December 2016. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  12. ^ "Indian Space Research Organisation scales 104 heights". The Indian Express. 16 February 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  13. ^ "India launches record-breaking 104 satellites from single rocket". The Guardian. 15 February 2017. Retrieved 15 February 2017. 
  14. ^ "ISRO sets record, launches 104 sats at one go". News Today. 16 February 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  15. ^ "India sets world record with 104 satellites in a single rocket launch". ExtremeTech. 15 February 2017. Retrieved 17 February 2017. 
  16. ^ "Isro launches record 104 satellites into orbit". Business Standard. 16 February 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  17. ^ "PSLV-C 37 scheduled for launch on January 27". The Hindu. Vijayawada. 17 December 2016. Retrieved 7 February 2017. 
  18. ^ "L&T Aerospace Unit Plays Role in ISRO Launch of 104 Satellites". NDTV. Retrieved 17 February 2017. 
  19. ^ "Five reasons why ISRO is a force to be reckoned with". The Indian Express. 15 February 2017. Retrieved 15 February 2017. 
  20. ^ "ISRO to recover half the cost of record breaking PSLV-C37 launch from foreign customers". Firstpost. 8 February 2017. Retrieved 8 February 2017. 
  21. ^ Global, IndraStra. "NEWS | India's ISRO Successfully Launched 104 Satellites in a Single Mission". IndraStra. ISSN 2381-3652. 

External linksEdit