The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) set a new record by successfully launching 104 satellites on a single Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket from the Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday morning.
The PSLV-XL variant rocket, standing 44.4 metre tall and weighing 320 tonnes, shot into the morning skies at 9.28 a.m, with a booming sound as it broke free from the free of the earth’s gravitational pull.
The earth observation satellite Cartosat-2 series weighs 714 kg. The co-passenger satellites comprise 101 nano satellites, one each from Israel, Kazakhstan, The Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and 96 from the United States, as well as two nano satellites from India. The total weight of all the satellites carried on-board is about 1,378 kg.
The PSLV rocket is a four-stage/engine rocket powered by solid and liquid fuel alternatively. “The Cartosat satellite is the fourth one in the Cartosat-2 series of earth observation satellites. Already three are in the orbit and two more will be launched. Once all the six Cartosat-2 series satellites are launched the Cartosat-3 series would begin,” according to an ISRO official.
Modi: Proud moment for our space scientists
Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed scientists for the successful launch. "Congratulations to @isro for the successful launch of PSLV-C37 and CARTOSAT satellite together with 103 nano satellites!," the Prime Minister said in a tweet. "This remarkable feat by @isro is yet another proud moment for our space scientific community and the nation. India salutes our scientists," he said.