ISRO Launch
Picture of the rocket launch tweeted by the Indian Space Research Organisation Image Credit: Twitter/@ISRO

Dubai: The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) launched 31 satellites, including its first hyperspectral imaging satellite (HysIS), this morning from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

The PSLV-C43 was the 45th mission of the Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle programme and soon after the successful launch hashtags #ISRO and #PSLVC43 became top trends in India.

Isro’s official Twitter account posted updates from the rocket launch and the satellites entering their orbit, with tweeps congratulating the space agency on its achievement.

The HysIS is the best-ever high resolution Earth imaging satellite to be launched by India, and will be used for Earth observation. The sharp lens of the satellite has earned the HysIS a nickname: Chhota Bheem, after a children’s cartoon that was based on the mythical character Bhima, who was the strongest of the five Pandava brothers in The Mahabharata.

Weighing 380kg, the HysIS has already been placed in its sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 636 km. The other 30 satellites were from eight different countries and will be placed in orbit one by one. Some tweeps marveled at the modest start of India’s space programme, which started almost half a century ago. Since 1969, Isro has conducted 97 spacecraft missions, 67 launch missions and placed 237 foreign satellites. The agency’s Mangalayan Mars Orbiter Mission gained it a lot of international attention because of the tight budget on which the succesful mission was accomplished.