The Indian Space Research Organisation made history when it launched 104 satellites, all at once on Wednesday! This is a record number of satellites placed into orbit at once. ISRO, using the PSLV successfully placed 104 satellites, which included the earth observation satellite, from the Sriharikota spaceport! This is the highest number of satellites launched, all at once!
The most trusted rocket in ISRO's garage is the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C37. This vehicle, on its 39th trip, was loaded up with 3 of India's & 101 of International satellites on Wednesday, February 15. 96 of the satellites belonged to the USA, and the remaining 5 belong one each to the nations of UAE, Switzerland, Netherlands, Kazakhstan & Israel. It was at 9.28am that PSLV lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre's launch pad.
The first to be placed into orbit was the CARTOSAT-2 satellite from India which is used to keep an eye on the unfriendly neighbors of India, namely China & Pakistan. Along with this, the vehicle contained 2 other nano satellites INS-1A & INS-1B which will follow the Cartosat-2. The PSLV took only about 10 minutes to place the rest of the 101 satellites in their orbit, making the mission a grand success and one with this number of satellites launched at once.
The previous record for the highest number of satellites launched was held by Russia when it sent 37 satellites into orbit at once, back in June 2014. Also, India had launched 23 satellites in June 2015. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his happiness through Twitter when congratulated ISRO for the launch of CARTOSAT-2 & the other 103 nanosatellites, while Mayilsamy Annadurai, Director of ISRO Satellite Centre was absolutely elated when his tweet said that even they could score centuries like the Indian Cricketers!
India's CARTOSAT-2 satellite weighed about 714 kilograms and the rest of the satellites weighing about 664 kilograms in total at liftoff. All-in-all the launch vehicle carried about 1,378 kilograms worth of payload. The vehicle used was the XL variant of the PSLV series that was used for the Chandrayaan & the MOM (Mars Orbiter Mission) missions. These satellites were placed into the Polar Sun Synchronous Orbit that is around 520 km from the surface of the Earth.