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article imageIndia successfully launches 104 satellites into orbit

By Karen Graham     Feb 15, 2017 in Technology
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) set a new record in space mission achievements after successfully launching 104 satellites in one go from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, on Wednesday morning.
ISRO Chairman AS Kiran Kumar told the press that the 104 satellites included an Indian Earth observation satellite and two small technology demonstration satellites. The other satellites were international customer satellites, including 96 from the US and one each from the Netherlands, Switzerland, Israel, Kazakhstan, and the United Arab Emirates.
Space.com reports that on his Twitter account, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted the launch of the satellites was a "remarkable feat by ISRO is yet another proud moment for our space scientific community and the nation."
The PSLV took off at 9:28 am (0358 GMT) and after reaching a cruising speed of 27,000 kilometers per hour (16,777 miles per hour), ejected all 104 satellites into orbit within 30 minutes, ISRO said.
The PSLV's main cargo was the 714 kilograms (1,574 pounds) Earth Observation satellite, CartoSat-2. But it was loaded with 103 smaller nano-satellites, the smallest weighing 1.1 kilograms (2.43 pounds). The combined weight of all the nano-satellites was 664 kilograms (1,464 pounds), according to the Hindustan Times.
Of the 96 small satellites from the U.S., 88 of them are from San Francisco-based Planet Inc, an Earth imagery company. Each of their satellites weighed 4.5 kilograms (9.9 pounds).
With this latest achievement, ISRO has placed the biggest number of satellites into orbit at one time, surpassing Russia which launched 39 satellites at one time in June 2014. This feat is added to ISRO's launch of an unmanned rocket to orbit Mars in 2013 at a cost of just $73 million, compared with NASA's Maven Mars mission which had a $671 million price tag.
India has successfully carved out a niche in the space industry by developing a reputation for reliable low-cost options. This skill is called "jugaad"—creating a cheap alternative solution.
More about Satellites, 104 satellites, Isro, record number, PSLV
 
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