India set to conquer space: 20 satellites sent into orbit in a single day

The rocket left this morning from Andhra Pradesh space station, carrying three satellites manufactured in India and 17 other foreign-made, from the United States, Germany, Canada and Indonesia. India asserts itself as ambitious economic and technological power.

New Delhi (AsiaNews / Agencies) - This morning India launched 20 satellites into orbit in a single space mission. This is the most ambitious initiative of the Indian space program, which confirms a major role in the Asian country’s economy and in global technology.

Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Kiran Kumar, has stressed the importance of the mission: "Each of these small objects that you are putting into space will carry out their own activity, which is independent of the other, and each of them will live a wonderful life for the finite period for which they have been designed".

Even the prime minister Narendra Modi has praised the "monumental success of the enterprise." The rocket PSLV C-34 was launched from the Sriharikota space center in Andhra Pradesh, at 9:26 (local time). It was carrying three satellites manufactured in India (of which two were university projects) and 17 other foreign-made, from the United States, Germany, Canada and Indonesia. The entire launch mission lasted 26 minutes in all.

Among the devices expelled by the missile, there is the Cartosat-2, a satellite that will be used for terrestrial observations. The images that it will collect will be used to develop mapping, study the urban, rural and coastal areas, the distribution of water and other applications. Another satellite, produced by Google, will capture images and high-definition video.

The Indian space program has come a long way, considering that the first rocket launch took place in 1963. On that occasion the rocket was transported to the launch pad with a bicycle. During another mission in 2008 India launched 10 satellites. The launch with the highest number of satellites with a single mission belongs to NASA (the US space program), which three years ago put 29 into orbit.