12:03 GMT25 January 2020
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    Less than a month after the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched its heaviest GSLV Mk III rocket, the space agency is readying for a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) launch with an Earth observation satellite and 30 other smaller satellites, including 29 from abroad, on Friday.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — The earth observation satellite Cartosat-2 (712 kg) and 30 co-passenger satellites (combined weight of 243 kg) will be launched through the PSLV-C38 and sling the satellites into a 505-km Polar Sun Synchronous Orbit. The PSLV-C38 would be the 40th flight of the PSLV, which has had 39 successive successful launches.

    The agency is awaiting a final clearance from its launch authorisation board and the mission readiness review committee on Thursday after which the countdown would begin.

    The nanosatellites are from 14 countries — Austria, Belgium, Britain, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, and the US as well as one Indian nanosatellite, ISRO said in a press release.

    All 29 nano-satellites are part of the commercial arrangements between ISRO's commercial arm, the Antrix Corporation Ltd, and international customers.
    Experts said Friday's launch could further cement ISRO's credibility in the highly competitive space industry.

    "It is a continuation of ISRO's policy of launching multiple satellites in a cost-efficient manner. ISRO's highly successful track record in catering to small countries' satellite needs, including in Friday's upcoming launch, shows that the space agency has carved a niche for itself," Gp. Capt. Ajey Lele (Retd.), Senior Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi, told Sputnik.


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    satellites, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), India
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