Isro launches record 104 satellites

Alyssa BaileyFeb 16, 2017

The PSLV-C37 rocket launched by ISRO carries satellites from many different countries as part of Antrix Corporation Limited's deals with the operators of these satellites. According to the chairperson, ISRO bettered the previous world record by a two-and-a-half times, as Russian Federation had rocketed 37 satellites in a single launch via a modified inter-continental ballistic missile in 2014. The launch took place at Sriharikota High Altitude Center (SARC) at Satish Dhawan Space Center in Andhra Pradesh at 9:28 am.

"The first satellite will go in the 17th minute followed soon by two nano satellites by India", Lele said, adding that 96 satellites will be placed in their orbits.

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Three of the satellites, which weigh less than 10kg each, were owned by Indians, 96 were from USA companies, and the rest belonged to companies based in Israel, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates. India also had a 714kg Cartosat-2 satellite on board whose main task will be Earth observation. It was necessary to use ISRO's most powerful rocket, XL Variant that was previously used in Chandrayaan and during the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) for this record-breaking launch. Each of these satellites weighs around 5 Kg. Earlier Russia had achieved the milestone by launching 37 satellites simultaneously. Three satellites were for Indian use, while the other 101 belong to global entities. Later, ISRO had launched only 20 satellites in a single mission in the year 2016.

"The Cartosat satellite is the fourth one in the Cartosat-2 series of earth observation satellites". ISRO is also mulling the idea of missions to Jupiter and Venus. Earlier in June past year, it got its earlier set of 12 "Doves" launched along with India's CartoSat-2C.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the launch in a series of tweets.

AS Kiran Kumar - the Chairman of ISRO AS Kiran Kumar said that they initially thought of launching 3 satellites of 730 KG. The increasing competition, led by ISRO, for space-related power and prestige in Asia have made space specialists say that the real space race is in Asia.

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