From one satellite to 104 satellites (Cartosat-2D) : Historic Achievement by ISRO

From one satellite to 104 satellites : Historic Achievement by ISRO

It is Bharat once again maid a historic achievement, Our scientists at ISRO proved to the world that the world just can not ignore Bharat. Bharat is emerging, Bharat will soon become Vishwa Guru again. Going further let us understand how the journey was since our first satellite launch to till date.

Carrying satellite on bicycle and Bullock Cart
Carrying satellite on bicycle and Bullock Cart

The picture speaks a lot you can read more about here We started lifting satellites on bicycle and bullock cart, it is really an inspiring to read about our scientists. Placing a satellite on its orbit is not an easy job we have achieved it many times and we have achieved it in unique way.

Frugal Engineering : ISRO’s key to success

Bharat always lacking behind in space exploration not because of talent but because of budget and I am not saying that Bharat is not so rich to spend on it. We are capable both talent wise and budget wise, but our previous government was not so keen about this and hence our scientists were helpless. 

Despite government’s less support ISRO has done remarkable job, it is possible because the way ISRO is working. Frugal Engineering is the key to success for ISRO to achieve the best with a less budget. I will explain it in simple way, NASA will prepare atleast 4-5 test samples and then will launch the final satellite, which cost more for all test launches, but ISRO tries all possible way by simulating it and then analyzing every possibilities then trying with a final launch. It is possible only because we have best minds, who can analyse, who can calculate everything without even doing a prototyping and without even real testing

Aryabhata India’s First Satellite to Cartosat-2D 104 satellites at once

It was in April 1975 Bharat launched first Satellite as an experiment and for learning all the basics of satellite launch, Active technological experience in building and operating a satellite system. India’s first satellite. It is not the weight it is carrying matters here because smaller satellites will make it possible but satellites have to be stacked all together with specific settings so that they can be released in their orbits without affecting the flights of others or colliding with each other. This is where ISRO has done a remarkable job and a great engineering innovations.

Aryabhata was a kind of experimental launch but cartosat-2D carried 104 satellite at once, it took decades of hardwork and dedication. It was a continuous learning for our scientists.

PSLV-C37 - Cartosat-2D ISRO 104 satellites
PSLV-C37 – Cartosat-2D ISRO 104 satellites


Innovative Approach Used By ISRO To Separate 104 Satellites

Imagine packing up your bag for your journey ! uff wasn’t it challenging to keep most of your items all in one bag? Despite we do hundreds of journey, every time when we travel we spend enough time to pack our stuffs. Common this is not a joke here we are packing 104 satellites in one launch vehicle. And it is not just packing the satellites but releasing satellites in a specific order, with precision in time is most important otherwise they collide with each other. So ISRO has done a remarkable job here, packing 104 satellites? yeah they have done it through an innovative approach.

At the Sriharikota High Altitude Range (SHAR) at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC),ISRO used adapters such as Multiple Satellite Adapter (MSA) and Payload Adapter (PLA) were used along with six custom made adapters to house the satellites. The primary payload was mounted on the PLA, Some of the custom made adapters allowed multiple tier attachments of satellites. A few nanosatellites were even housed in the Vehicle Equipment Bay,which normally only contains the systems for ground communications, and functions as the “brain” of the launch vehicle.

Managing the separation events of the satellites, satellites would have to be released after the launch vehicle lost contact with the Isro Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) tracking station at Mauritius, and before establishing contact with the Troll station in Antartica. 

The stage to which the satellites were attached had a complex maneuvering program, along with a sequence and timing for the satellite separation events. Isro engineers conducted detailed studies to ensure that the 105 objects, including a PSLV stage, would not collide after separation. Isro had to track 5460 pairs of objects

The separation of satellites, a very complex task in the mission was accomplished using a complex electrical wiring scheme, Any error in the wiring scheme would mean that the wrong satellite would be separated at the wrong time, potentially leading to collisions between the satellites.


The on board camera video shows how Satellites were injected into orbit 


Read more about ISRO :

Read more about ISRO :

Reaching the Red Planet – MOM, ISRO’s successful mission

Journey towards space, Journey towards Mars

We are about to reach Mars, a planet which attracted the mankind from several hundred years, NASA says ‘Humans are driven to explore the unknown, discover new worlds, push the boundaries of our scientific and technical limits, and then push further.’ So far there are 9 robotic probes launched around the orbit of Mars and seven unmanned rovers on the surface of the Mars, the biggest success in exploration of Mars is when NASA launched Curiosity rover in 2012.

ISRO Mars Mission

Now its the time for ISRO , no doubt ISRO is did this in its unique way. Talented scientists of our country achieved this in a very low cost of 450cr which is almost 4 times less than NASA’s mission. ISRO can launch 4 such Mars mission with the budget what NASA spent.

Distance Travelled by MOM

Distance Travelled By MOM
Distance Travelled By MOM


Heliocentric Path of Mars Orbiter

Heliocentric Path Of MOM
Heliocentric Path Of MOM

So far MOM completed its 98% journey , on 24th September 2014 exactly at 7.30 ISRO performs Mars Orbit Insertion (MOI). Mars Orbit Insertion is not an easy go, it is challenging task because there many things need to be considered especially the speed control of Mars Orbiter. According to NASA official site the speed must be reduced to 3200mph, every precision matters a lot. The most challenging task for scientists is to handle the unpredicted challenges .

Challenges in Mars Orbit Insertion –

1) The communication round trip time is 22 minutes, the signals sent from earth to orbiter will take 22 minutes to reach orbiter and return back to base station. Due to this time delay , every command should be preloaded with time tags

2) An amount of 290Kg of fuel is available on board and this maneuver is estimated to consume 241Kg of fuel leaving 50Kg for later mission life. The precision at which the firing should perform is really important

3) The key motor “Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM)” which gives 440N thrust was shutdown some 300 days back after the trans-mars-injection. Even to test this motor for 5 seconds means the mission will be out of path for over 100Km. We are expecting this engine to perform within 2% deviation of performance to achieve the desired result.

4) Most of the operation is carried out when the mission is not visible to the Earth

5) All the operations now onwards will be carried in the shadow of Mars itself. So, the whole operation should be based on battery power and not on solar power as well.

Source –

Planned Events by ISRO

Planned Events for MOM
Planned Events for MOM


 Soruce –

Journey towards Space – 

Dr K Radhakrishnan Chairman of ISRO  Interviewed –

Journey towards Space – ISRO


The most wonderful and most mysterious thing in the Universe is the Universe itself. No one can say exactly how it started its journey, when it came into existence. Thousands of people from several thousands years trying to understand what exactly it is, though it is mysterious the god has given an incredible gift to human, yeah that is mind. Human mind is next mysterious thing in this Universe, Human mind is capable to reveal the secret behind the Universe and its existence. Every nation is in a race to do something for the first time when it comes to revealing something about Universe, but human first look towards the moon and in late 50’s and 60’s humans started exploring the Universe and ofcourse the Moon first.

America and Soviet Russia were in competition to reach the Moon first. It was Americans who landed first on the Moon, ofcourse they are proud to say about it, but being an Indian I am proud to say that all the knowledge of Universe, planets is given by Indians several thousands of years ago. Sadly from past few centuries Bharat was unable to do great inventions, innovations due to many reasons, but no doubt those glorious ancient days will come soon.

Inspite of many hurdles Bharat struggled and succeeded to come out from all the difficulties and started its space programme in 60’s. It was successful because we had dedicated scientists who worked very hard to achieve the planned missions.

 Prof Vikram Sarabhai who lead the team of ISRO in 60’s , a very energetic leader and under his able leadership Bharat started its journey towards reaching the space. Then dedicated, enthusiastic scientists like A P J Kalam joined the group of pioneers.

 I wanted tell how our scientists worked dedicatedly to achieve the best thing in space programme even after facing hardest hurdles. A picture is worth a thousands words. So I just wanted to post images here which will tell the story of our journey towards space.

A P J Kalam working on Rocket payload at Thumba in 1964

A P J Kalam working on rocket payload
A P J Kalam working on rocket payload

Rocket parts carried by Bullock carts 


Rocket parts carried by Bullock carts
Rocket parts carried by Bullock carts

Scientists transporting rocket parts on a bicycle 

Scientists transporting rocket parts on a bicycle
Scientists transporting rocket parts on a bicycle

Our scientists using muscle power to lift a rocket

Our scientists using muscle power to lift a rocket
Our scientists using muscle power to lift a rocket

These images tell the story and shows how our scientists enthusiastically worked even though there were no facilities, but they were determined to achieve the mission.

 Look where we are today? We reached Moon; We are about to reach Mars in a unique way. Our Mars mission is very unique, we used a best technique called “frugal engineering” to cut the cost. I will explain it in simple way, NASA will prepare atleast 4-5 test samples and then will launch the final satellite, which cost more for all test launches, but ISRO tries all possible way by simulating it and then analyzing every possibilities then trying with a final launch. It is possible only because we have best minds, who can analyse, who can calculate everything without even doing a prototyping and without even real testing.

 I call every young Indian, get inspired by people like A P J Kalama, Vikram Sarabhai and look towards core sciences, Do something for the nation; we are born to serve the nation.

 I am happy that we are reaching Mars in couple of days, Let us wait and say proudly that we are one among those who reached Red Planet.

It is not so easy to cross the orbit of earth and put our satellite outside earth orbit. Every minute calculation matters a lot, every small part will be very sensitive.

How important to consider every minute thing in such a mission ? Let us consider few facts from the history which shows the sensitivity of such missions.

Why some missions failed:

Bad timing: Though the Russian Kosmos 419 (1971) reached Earth’s orbit, it never reached Mars’ orbit because of a wrong ignition time setting. Instead of being set for 1.5 hours after launch, it was accidentally set for 1.5 years after launch. The spacecraft soon re-entered Earth’s orbit and disintegrated.

Faulty software: Bad mathematics may not kill you, but they can kill spacecraft! NASA’s Mars Climate Orbiter (1998) disintegrated because at one instance, its software used the wrong units (pounds, instead of Newtons). This caused the spacecraft to be placed too close to Mars where atmospheric stresses destroyed it.

Mars orbiter failure : Microsoft’s Research

Software Stability – How The Mars Path finder mission failed just because of improper setting of thread priority. ( )

Solar flares and fuel shortage: The communication systems of Japan’s Nozomi orbiter (1998) were disrupted by powerful solar flares. It also damaged the heat control system causing the fuel to freeze. It was unable to attain Mars orbit and operation was terminated.

Nobody really knows: Just three days away from Mars, all communication was suddenly lost with NASA’s Mars Observer (1992). For months, scientists could not explain what became of the spacecraft, but investigations finally concluded that a fuel and gas leak had probably sent the spacecraft into an uncontrollable spin damaging critical electrical circuits.

A journey To Mars –

This small video clip will give clear picture on how a satellite will reach Mars

Update –

Dr K Radhakrishnan Chairman of ISRO  Interviewed –