TODAY morning India created a world record by successfully placing into orbit 104 satellites, including the country’s own Cartosat-2earth observation satellite .
Scientists gathered for the launch in the southern spaceport of Sriharikota burst into applause as the head of India’s Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced all the satellites had been ejected.
“My hearty congratulations to the ISRO team for this success,” ISRO director Kiran Kumar told scientists who had gathered at the observatory to watch the progress of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi immediately congratulated the scientists for the successful launch which smashes a record previously held by Russia.
This remarkable feat by @isro is yet another proud moment for our space scientific community and the nation. India salutes our scientists.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 15, 2017
The PSLV-XL variant rocket standing 44.4 metre tall and weighing 320 ton tore into the morning skies at 9.28 a.m. with a deep throated growl breaking free of the earth’s gravitational pull.
The national space agency set a world record and occupied a unique position among space-faring nations.
The last world record was held by Russia which in 2014 sent 37 satellites in a single launch using a modified intercontinental ballistic missile.
However, ISRO scientists were not willing to attach too much importance to records. They insisted the focus was on maximising the payload capacity and the vehicle capability.
“Though the mission was initially planned to carry 83 satellites, the decision was taken to increase the number to 104 as additional space was available,” ISRO chairman AS Kiran Kumar told Express.
Of the 103 co-passenger satellites, 96 belong to the US, five from international customers of ISRO, including Israel, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates as well as two nanosatellites from India.