The ISRO launched 31 satellites on a Polar Satellite Launch vehicle (PSLV) from six countries into the the Earth's orbit. If it succeeds, it will be India's first soft-landing on the Moon, and only the second such landing since the end of the Apollo and Luna missions.
Cartosat-2, weighing 710 kilograms, is one of the series of the same name and aims to provide high-resolution images of the Earth for cartographic applications, monitoring of the road network, use of coastal land and the regulation and management of public services. The total weight of all the satellites is estimated around 1323 kg, as per ISRO's official website.
"It is gratifying that PSLV-C40 was successfully launched after the last event of PSLV-C39 marginally went out in the midst due to non-separation of the heat shield that failed to release the satellite in orbit". Modi stated in another tweet.
With failure of the PSLV-C39 mission launched in August 31, fresh in their minds, the entire Isro team was glued to their computer systems at the Mission Control Room holding their breath as the PSLV zoomed into the space from India's spaceport. Among is the satellites that the PSLV is carrying is India's 100th satellite, Cartosat 2 - a surveillance satellite.
"PSLV-C40 is a highly sophisticated surveillance tool to keep an eye on Indian borders and will help the government track progress of infrastructure projects", said Pallava Bagla, a science writer and co-author of "Reaching for the Stars: India's Journey to Mars". In February 2017, ISRO set a world record for sending 104 satellites on a single rocket.
"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.
2018 is going to be one of the most ambitious years for ISRO as it plans to launch a minimum of one satellite every month.