President congratulates ISRO for landmark launch

The Indian Space Research Organisation's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) took off on Wednesday from the Sriharikota spaceport near Chennai on India's south-eastern coast. This number was overrun by NASA in November 2013, with the launch of 29 satellites on the Minotaur 1 rocket, and then by the Russian space agency Roscosmos State Corporation's DNEPR rocket in November 2013 and June 2014 with the launch of 33 and 37 satellites respectively.

The space agency's trusted workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C37, on its 39th mission, took off in the morning, at 9.28 am, today, from Sriharikota space centre with the 104 satellites, of which 101 belongs to worldwide customers.

The PSLV rocket after seventeen minutes of its launch, started placing the satellites into the orbit, one by one, with a time-frame of about 11 minutes.

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96 USA satellites, 101 small satellites one each from Israel, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates and two ISRO made nano satellites belonging to worldwide customers were part of this launch. India also had a 714kg Cartosat-2 satellite on board whose main task will be Earth observation.

The mission was successfully accomplished by 10:05 AM and ISRO Chairman AS Kiran Kumar congratulated all the scientists for the historic feat in space.

This leads to two world records: a record for the most satellites ever launched on a single rocket; and a record for the largest private satellite constellation in history, totaling 149 satellites in all. But it can not carry communication satellites weighing more than 2,000kg into space. Earlier, Russia had set a record by launching the highest number of 37 satellites in the year 2017.

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The PSLV rocket is a four stage rocket alternatively powered by solid and liquid fuel. ISRO's own previous record stood at 20 satellites launched in June a year ago.

ISRO also shared a tweet after the successful launch of the PSLV-C37. The Space agency made the country proud, for which it was commended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee. ISRO's own record was in 2016 when it launched 20 satellites and put them in their respective orbit. "India salutes our scientists", Modi wrote on his Twitter.

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