Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will launch 103 satellites using its launch vehicle PSLV-C37 in the first week of February, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious South Asian satellite project will start in March. More than 100 satellites launched in February are from many other countries including the United States and Germany.
ISRO's Liquid Propulsion Systems Center Director S. Somnath said, "We are going to make 100 hundred by launching more than 100 satellites simultaneously." Somnath told that earlier this year, ISRO had planned to launch 83 satellites simultaneously in the last week of January, out of which 80 were foreign satellites. But due to the joining of 20 more foreign satellites, the date of launch was extended a week later. These launches will now be in the first week of February.
Nonetheless, they did not tell the number of countries that would launch their satellites in this mission. However, he said that it includes countries like America and Germany. Somnath said, "These 100 micro-satellites will be launched, which will be launched using PSLV-37. Payloads will be 1350 kilograms, in which 500-600 kilograms of satellites will be weighed." This launch will be a major achievement in India's space history, because on such a large scale, never before launch. Last year, ISRO had launched 22 satellites at one go and the number of satellites in the first week of February would be nearly five times higher.
Associate Director of ISRO M Nageshwar Rao said that South Asian satellite will be part of GSAT-9 which will be launched in March this year. The launch of this communication satellite was to be held in December 2016, but it was delayed because some other satellites were to be launched earlier. Sources said that the ongoing talks to include Afghanistan in this project are in the final stages. Formerly known as SAARC satellite, this project is being considered as a gift to neighboring countries of India. Pakistan has been firmly opposing this project. Pakistan was keen to launch it under the banner of the South Asian Regional Forum. Later he got separated from the project. Apart from India, this satellite will benefit from Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan.