India set a new record on Wednesday by successfully launching 104 satellites into space on a single rocket, beating former record-holder Russia, which sent 37 in one go in 2014.
India’s PSLV-C37 rocket blasted off at 9.28 a.m. local time on Wednesday (11.58 a.m. BJT) from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in the southeast Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, according to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), which developed the rocket.
At 10.00 a.m., the ISRO confirmed that all 104 satellites had successfully entered into orbit. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent his congratulations to the scientists minutes later and hailed the launch on Twitter as “another proud moment” for the country’s space scientific community and the nation.
The satellites, perched on top of the rocket, weigh 1,378 kilograms. Three of them are from India and 96 are from the US, while the others belong respectively to Israel, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
It is not the first time the PSLV series of rockets carried out multiple satellite launches. In 2008, a PSLV-C9 successfully sent 10 satellites into space, and in 2016, a PSLV-C34 lifted off with 20.
With micro-satellites earning increasing favor in the international market, India has been increasingly looking to commercialize such satellite launches. Indian experts said that India has made a great leap in its space exploration programs by the success.