New Dehli: Indian PSLV-C37 carrier rocket successfully launched 104 satellites, five times more than the 20 launched into space in June 2016, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said on Wednesday.
The launch was high-risk because of the satellites, released in rapid-fire fashion every few seconds from a single rocket as it traveled at 17,000 miles an hour, could collide with one another in space if ejected into the wrong path.
The launch, which began at 09:28 local time (03:58 GMT) was streamed live by Indian broadcasters. The placement of the satellites into orbit started 17 minutes after the take-off.
Courtesy: Euro News
Afterward, the mission control center said that the mission had been successful. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the space agency on the launch.
Spoke to the Secretary, Department of Space and congratulated him & the entire team of scientists on today’s exceptional achievement.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 15, 2017
Indian President Pranab Mukherjee also wrote about the “landmark” achievement, which, according to him, “demonstrated, yet again, India’s increasing space capabilities.”
Heartiest congratulations to @ISRO Team on successful launch of navigation satellite IRNSS-IE.
— Pranab Mukherjee (@PrezMukherjee) January 20, 2016
Previous Russia’s record of launching maximum satellites
Before this launch, Russia held the record for the largest number of simultaneously launched satellites, after placing 37 of them into orbit in 2014. Earth observation Cartosat-2 satellite was the first to take off. This type of satellite usually serves five years. The rest of the cargo was comprised of nanosatellites, only two of which were Indian. The majority of smaller satellites belong to a US private sector company Planet Labs.