India’s space agency ISRO successfully launched the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C40), carrying weather observation satellite Cartosat-2 series and 29 other satellites on Friday.

In its first mission carried out this year, ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) launched the vehicle from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

This landmark mission was ISRO’s 100th successful satellite launch, a milestone for the space agency.

ISRO’s last mission was the failed attempt to launch IRNSS-1H and PSLV-39 four months earlier.

Sharing the news of the success, outgoing ISRO chief A S Kiran Kumar dedicated the success as a new year’s gift to the nation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted to congratulate ISRO and its team of scientists for the success of the mission, adding that it signifies a bright future for India’s space programme. “This success in the New Year will bring benefits of the country’s rapid strides in space technology to our citizens, farmers, fishermen etc. The launch of the 100th satellite by @isro signifies both its glorious achievements, and also the bright future of India’s space programme,” Modi said in his tweet.

“Benefits of India’s success are available to our partners! Out of the 31 Satellites, 28 belonging to 6 other countries are carried by today’s launch,” his tweet said.

One micro and nano satellite from India along with three micro and 25 nanosatellites from six countries – Canada, Finland, France, Korea, UK and US – comprise the total co-passengers on the PSLV-C40.

President Ram Nath Kovind also showered praise on the team of “exceptional scientists” at ISRO, deeming the launch as a moment of pride for every Indian and a milestone for the country. Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu also took to Twitter to congratulate the ISRO team.

ISRO chief elect K Sivan, due to take over from Kumar today, credited the successful launch of PSLV-C40 to the innovation of ISRO’s scientists across the country.

“This success is a green flag for our other missions in 2018. I am sure that the ISRO community will rise to the occasion and meet expectations,” he said. Sivan has worked on PSLV since 1982, and is the key man behind the project.

Among others congratulating ISRO’s team were Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and  BJP President Amit Shah.

The weather observation Cartosat-2 series satellite will provide high-resolution scene specific spot imageries. The images will be used for cartographic applications, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation, road network monitoring, water distribution, creation of land use maps among other things.


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