Nellore: Putting aside the doubts over its performance, following the failure of its earlier flight (PSLV-C39) in August previous year, Isro's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle was back with a bang, enhancing confidence of scientists on its prowess.
The PSLV on Friday ferried and deployed Cartosat-2, a 710kg Earth-mapping satellite, a 100kg Microsat, an 11kg nanosatellite and 28 foreign satellites riding piggyback in a 23-minute flight after its launch from the Indian Space Research Organisation's Sriharikota spaceport.
The launched satellites include the weather observation Cartosat-2 series, two more satellites from India and 28 other nations.
India launched its 100th satellite on Friday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to project the country as a global low-priced provider of services in space. "This success in the New Year will bring benefits of the country's rapid strides in space technology to our citizens, farmers, fishermen etc".
"PSLV-C40 is a highly sophisticated surveillance tool to keep an eye on Indian borders and will help the government track progress of infrastructure projects", science writer Pallava Bagla, the co-author of Reaching For The Stars: India's Journey To Mars, was quoted by Reuters as saying.
"The scientists at ISRO have carved a special place in the astronomical space".
India's space program is reportedly one of the most cost-effective in the world. Further satellites Cartosat-2D and 2E were launched in February and June of 2017 as ISRO began to increase the size of the constellation.
The 31 satellites were placed in two different orbits in one mission, in one of the keenly watched missions that comes after a failed launch in August past year.
The space program budget of India is around $4 billion and Modi's government is hopeful that the latest launches will help in improving India's prospects of gaining an even larger share of the global space industry, which costs over $300 billion. The space agency is also gearing up for launching its second unmanned mission to the moon, Chandrayaan 2, in March.