The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) achieved a major milestone last night (Feb. 14) with a successful record-setting launch of 104 satellites on a single rocket.
In one single mission, this is for the first time for the country to launch the maximum number of satellites into space.
The launch smashed the previous record for the most satellites sent up on a single rocket, set by Russian Federation in 2014 when it sent 37 into orbit. The PSLV took off at 9:28 am (0358 GMT) and after reaching a cruising speed of 27,000 kilometers per hour (16,777 miles per hour), ejected all 104 satellites into orbit within 30 minutes, ISRO said.
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The rocket first put into orbit the 714-kg Cartosat-2 Series satellite, followed by the co-passengers - Isro's INS-1A and INS-1B, and 96 nano satellites belonging to two U.S. companies, and one each from Israel, Kazakhstan, The Netherlands, Switzerland and the UAE. The two Indian nano-satellites are ISRO's INS-1A and INS-1B. The weight of the satellites totaled 1,377kg (3,036 pounds).
Live video grab of PSLV C-37 Launch carrying historic 104 satellites aboard (ISRO).
The 101 global customer nano satellites were launched as part of the commercial arrangements between Antrix Corporation Limited (Antrix), a Government of India company under Department of Space (DOS), the commercial arm of ISRO and the worldwide customers.
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All US satellites are from the earth observation company Planet, which was formed by former NASA scientists in 2010.
This is the second successful launch after a similar launch of 23 satellites was attempted by ISRO in June 2015.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to congratulate on the launch conducted by the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) that went off smoothly and was broadcasted live.
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"We're proud of this achievement, and we're already gearing up for other launches later this year", says P Kunhikrishnan, Director of Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) at Sriharikota. "Later 96 satellites will be placed in their orbits", said Ajay Lele of ISRO in a statement. "India salutes our scientists", he said.