India clinches record for satellite launches
SRIHARIKOTA, INDIA: India successfully put a record 104 satellites from a single rocket into orbit yesterday in the latest triumph for its famously frugal space agency.
Scientists who were at the launch in the southern spaceport of Sriharikota burst into applause as the head of India's Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced that all the satellites had been ejected.
ISRO director Kiran Kumar congratulated the team in an observatory to track the progress of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
The rocket took off at 9.28am (noon, Singapore time) and cruised at a speed of 27,000kmh, ejecting all the 104 satellites into orbit in about 30 minutes.
The rocket's main cargo was a 714kg satellite for Earth observation but it was also loaded with 103 smaller "nano satellites", weighing a combined 664kg. The smallest weighed only 1.1kg.
The launch means India now holds the record for launching the most satellites in one go, surpassing Russia which launched 39 satellites in a single mission in June 2014. - AFP