India has successfully launched record 104 satellites, including CARTOSAT-2 series weather observation satellite, in single mission on board PSLV-C37 rocket.
Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its 39th flight (PSLV-C37), launched the 714 kg Cartosat-2 series satellite for earth observation along with 103 co-passenger satellites, together weighing about 664 kg at lift off.
PSLV-C37 / Cartosat -2 Series Mission Successfully Launched all 104 Satellites
— ISRO (@isro) February 15, 2017
President Pranab Mukherjee hailed the feat and hoped that ISRO wwill continue to ‘strive for the progress of our space capabilities.’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi too congratulated ISRO team for successful launch of 104 satellites.
Modi in his tweet said, “This remarkable feat by ISRO is yet another proud moment for our space scientific community and the nation. India salutes our scientists.”
ISRO, according to a report by PTI, said the co-passenger satellites comprised 101 nano- satellites, one each from Israel, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and 96 from United States of America (USA), as well as two from India.
The two Indian nano-satellites are ISROs INS-1A and INS-1B.
INS-1A and INS-1B carry a total of four different payloads from Space Applications Centre (SAC) and Laboratory for Electro Optics Systems (LEOS) of ISRO for conducting various experiments, the space agency said.
Last year, ISRO had launched a record 20 satellites at one go.
The highest number of satellites launched in a single mission is 37, a record that Russia set in 2014. The US space agency, NASA has launched 29.
The 101 international customer nano-satellites are being launched as part of the commercial arrangements between Antrix Corporation Limited (Antrix), the commercial arm of ISRO and the international customers.
Speaking on the record launch, ISRO Chairman Kiran Kumar had earlier said the aim was to maximise the capability with each launch and it was not to set a record.
“We are not looking at it as a record or anything like that; we are just trying to maximise our capability with each launch, in trying to utilise that launch for the ability it has got and getting the maximum return,” he had said.