Record satellite launches in 2016, foreign craft dominate

The Indian space programme launched 10 satellites in 2016, three times more than the preceding year and the most ever, according to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) data. The September 26, 2016, launch of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)-C35 set two records: It was the longest satellite-launch mission yet, two hours, having completed its previous mission in just under 30 minutes on June 22, 2016; and the rocket released eight satellites — five foreign and three Indian — into two orbits, something ISRO has not done before.

No more than 38 per cent of satellites launched over the last 10 years have been Indian. Over this period, ISRO has had 34 launches, successfully sending up 121 satellites, 75 of them foreign: 18 (24 per cent) were from US, 11 (15 per cent) Canadian, 8 (11 per cent) each from Singapore and Germany and 6 (8 per cent ) from the UK. However, in terms of weight, the Indian satellites that ISRO has launched were 10 times heavier, by kg.

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