NEW DELHI: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Wednesday set a new precedent when it comes to launching satellites. It has successfully launched the PSLV-37 rocket which put in to orbit a record 104 satellites from seven countries. Using the time-tested and popular Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), ISRO surpassed its personal best of sending up 20 satellites in one go. The bar, however, was previously set by Russia in 2014 when it launched 37 satellites in a single mission.
PSLV first launched the 714 kg Cartosat-2 Series satellite for earth observation, followed by the INS-1A and INS-1B, after it reached the polar Sun Synchronous Orbit. It then went on to inject 103 co-passenger satellites, together weighing about 664 kg, in pairs.
The PSLV-C37 rocket is also carrying a Cartosat-2 series satellite that will be used for a producing high-resolution images of the Indian landmass. The successful launch set a new record for the most number of satellites – 104 – to be launched at one go. It puts a wide margin between it and the next record holder, the Russian Space Agency that launched 37 satellites in 2014.
Now, India is showcasing its competitiveness in the $300 billion global space market, said Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, head of the Nuclear and Space Policy Initiative at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi. India increased the budget of its space program by more than 20 percent this year in an effort to mount a second Mars mission in the coming years, as well as an orbiter mission to Venus that may done in collaboration with scientists from the U.S.’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration.