New record breakers, India Space Research Organization (ISRO), recently launched an Indian PSLV-37 rocket on the 15th of February 2017, from the southern spaceport of Sriharikota and took along a record of 104 satellites from seven countries with it.
At about midnight (12a.m. ET), the ISRO confirmed that not only did the rocket make it to space; the 104 satellites were also ejected into their orbits. The last satellites launched into space by the ISRO were just 20, and the previous record holder is Russia, with 37 satellites launched in a single mission in 2014.
The scientists were fascinated as they watched the rocket monitors for the progress of the rocket, until the last payload was ejected, then they began celebrating their achievements and hugging each other.
“My hearty congratulations to the ISRO team for this success,” the agency’s director, Kiran Kumar, told those gathered in an observatory to track the progress of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the scientists for the accomplishment made, which beat the record previously held by Russia.
The rocket’s main cargo was a 714kg satellite for observation of the Earth, but it also took along 103 smaller “Nano Satellites” which weigh 664kg combined. The smallest satellite weighed 1.1kg. Of the 104 satellites only a few that are for capturing hi-res images of the continent’s land mass belonged to India.
The United States had the largest number of satellites (96), while the others belonged to countries including Israel, Kazakhstan, United Arab Emirates and Switzerland.
In 2013, ISRO sent an unnamed rocket to orbit mars, costing $73 million.