The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has set a new record for the number of satellites delivered into orbit from a single rocket. Taking off in the early hours of this morning, the Polar Satellite Launch vehicle PSLV-C37 hauled 104 satellites out of the Earth's atmosphere. The remaining 101 satellites are nano-satellites made in various countries such as Israel, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the USA. This included 650 Kg Cartosat-2D and two nano-satellites namely INS-1A and INS-1B weighing 15 Kg each.
India's president Pranab Mukherjee and prime minister Narendra Modi welcomed the news, with the latter announcing it on Twitter.
ISRO Satellites launch was an achievement across the country.
Scientist at the ISRO have used the most powerful and heaviest rocket i.e. the XL variant, which was last used during the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) and during the Chandrayaan operation.
In June 2015, ISRO had launched 23 satellites at a go.
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With Wednesday's launch, the PSLV - ISRO's medium lift rocket launcher - has put 226 satellites in space, including 180 foreign satellites and 46 homegrown ones.
Cartosat-2 Series satellite, a remote sensing spacecraft with a five-year life span, will send images that would be utilised in coastal land use and regulation, road network monitoring, distribution of water and creation of land use maps, among others, Isro said.
Isro scientists say that the intention was to maximise payload and vehicle capacity and not the numbers of satellites.
The collision of the satellites at such a speed could have destroyed everything, but the launch of the satellites went perfectly according to the plan and predictions by ISRO. That's nearly 70 more satellites than Russia's previous record in 2014. The historic launch of 104 satellites in one shot.
The Cartosat-2 satellite will provide remote sensing services using its panchromatic (black and white) and multispectral (color) cameras. Earlier in June a year ago, it got its earlier set of 12 "Doves" launched along with India's CartoSat-2C.