ISRO Breaks Russia's Record by Sending 104 Satellites in a Single Rocket

Today, India blew away all previous records for launching multiple satellites at one time.

"Congratulations to @isro for the successful launch of PSLV-C37 and CARTOSAT satellite together with 103 nano satellites!"

The daunting feat saw India beating Russian Federation, which launched 39 satellites in one go in 2014. The space agency's trusted workhorse PSLV-C37 took off in the morning at 9:28 am from Sriharikota space centre with 104 satellites among them 101 satellites belongs to worldwide customers.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during the SAARC summit at Nepal in November 2014, had announced launching of a SAARC satellite as a gift for the benefit of members of the regional grouping in various fields, including telecommunication and telemedicine.

Of the 101 foreign satellites launched by PSLV on Wednesday, 96 are from the USA - including 88 from the start-up, Planet Labs, a San Francisco-based earth imaging company - while one satellite each is from the Netherlands, Switzerland, Israel, Kazakhstan and the UAE. In Wednesday's mission, the total weight of all the 104 satellites flown was 1,378 kg.

What is significant about the launch is the number of satellites carried by a rocket. 96 of the satellites belong to the US, and the smaller satellites belong to the US, Isreal, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Arab. "The Indians have reason to be proud", the daily said.

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"Over the past two decades, India has become a key player in the lucrative commercial space market offering a low-priced alternative".

"After separation, the two solar arrays of Cartosat-2 series satellite were deployed automatically and ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) at Bengaluru took over the control of the satellite", the space agency said.

London's Times newspaper reported that by Wednesday's feat, India has reinforced its ambition to join the elite space-faring nations.

"The Indian establishment, since the beginning, had decided that the country's space programme would be civilian in nature".

Scientific feats and advancements go a long way in establishing that the country is moving faster towards development, and this perception, whether true or not, will hold other favours for the eastern neighbour. In the coming years, the ISRO hopes to commence its proposed human spaceflight program, which if successful will make it the fourth nation to conduct crewed missions to space (alongside NASA, Roscosmos, and China).

  • Regina Walsh