India puts record 104 satellites into orbit, in one go
With a single rocket, India successfully put 104 satellites into orbit, breaking the previous record set by Russia.
The rocket was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh
India has successfully put a record 104 satellites from a single rocket into orbit on Wednesday in the latest triumph for its famously frugal space agency, officials announced.
Scientists gathered for the launch in the southern spaceport of Sriharikota burst into applause as the head of India’s Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced all the satellites had been ejected.
“My hearty congratulations to the ISRO team for this success,” ISRO director Kiran Kumar told scientists who had gathered at the observatory to watch the progress of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi immediately congratulated the scientists for the successful launch which smashes a record previously held by Russia.
The rocket took off at 9:28am (03:58 GMT) and cruised at a speed of 27,000km per hour, ejecting all the 104 satellites into orbit in around 30 minutes, according to ISRO.
The rocket’s main cargo was a 714kg satellite for earth observation but it was also loaded with 103 smaller “nano satellites”, weighing a combined 664kg.
Nearly all of the nano satellites are from other countries, including Israel, Kazakhstan, The Netherlands, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates and 96 from United States.
The launch means India now holds the record for launching the most satellites in one go, surpassing Russia which launched 39 satellites in a single mission in June 2014.