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India: 104 Satellites Launched in Single Mission

Image: India: 104 Satellites Launched in Single Mission

Indian onlookers watch the launch of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C37) at Sriharikota on Feb. 15, 2017. (Arun Sankar/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 15 Feb 2017 01:25 PM

India launched 104 satellites in a single mission Wednesday, breaking the previous record set in 2014, when Russia launched 37 satellites.

Most of the satellites were from the United States, BBC News reported. Of the total, all but three were from foreign countries, according to the broadcaster.

India president Narendra Modi praised the accomplishment on social media.

The majority of the satellites released Wednesday weight about 10 pounds, called Doves, The New York Times reported. The satellites belong to San Francisco-based Planet Labs, which sells data to governments and commercial entities.

The Times stated that the mission constituted the largest satellite constellation ever launched into space. The satellites were released every few seconds from a single rocket as it traveled at 17,000 miles an hour.

India became the first Asian nation to successfully send a probe into orbit around Mars in 2014 for $74 million, which Modi mentioned at the time cost less than the Hollywood space movie "Gravity," The Washington Post reported.

Kiran Kumar, chair of the Indian Space Research Organization, said his team's goal was not to establish a record, but to get the most out of each launch, The Guardian reported.

"We are just trying to maximize our capability with each launch and trying to utilize that launch for the ability it has got, and get the maximum in return," Kumar said, according to The Guardian.

The launch's success has solidified India as a player in private space market as the demand continues to grow for telecommunications services.

India's space agency is competing with Elon Musk's SpaceX to develop a reliable reusable rocket, which could drive down cost of space travel.

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India launched 104 satellites in a single mission Wednesday, breaking the previous record set in 2014, when Russia launched 37 satellites.
india, satellites, launched, record
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2017-25-15
Wednesday, 15 Feb 2017 01:25 PM
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