India breaks world record with simultaneous launch of 104 satellites

Posted February 16, 2017

PSLV C37 is the 39th flight of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) series of rockets by the Indian space agency. It set the record for most satellites launched in June 2014, when its Dnepr rocket carried a cluster of 37 satellites into orbit. The launch took place at Sriharikota High Altitude Center (SARC) at Satish Dhawan Space Center in Andhra Pradesh at 9:28 am.

96 USA satellites, 101 small satellites one each from Israel, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates and two ISRO made nano satellites belonging to global customers were part of this launch.

ISRO Chairman AS Kiran Kumar told the press that the 104 satellites included an Indian Earth observation satellite and two small technology demonstration satellites.

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India's president Pranab Mukherjee and prime minister Narendra Modi welcomed the news, with the latter announcing it on Twitter. All these 103 payloads together weighed 664 kilograms.

The nano-satellites belonging to worldwide customers are being launched through Antrix Corporation Ltd (ANTRIX), the commercial arm of ISRO. This is one of the heaviest version of the PSLV used by ISRO.

The 101 worldwide 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 global customers. "India salutes our scientists", Modi said in a tweet.

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Launching anything into space is extremely expensive, which is why SpaceX is spending so much time and effort developing a reusable launch vehicle for use with its Falcon rockets.

ISRO launched a 1,574-pound Cartosat-2 series satellite for earth observation purposes.

In one fell swoop, India's space agency broke a world record and gave big business something to think about.

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It is the first launch by the ISRO in 2017 and three more launches are planned for the first half of this year. Currently, ISRO has massive expectations that it could soon recover at least half of the total expenditure through their payments from the customers of foreign countries after the successful launch on Wednesday.