ISRO 's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C37 on Wednesday injected India's weather observation Cartosat-2 Series satellite and 103 nano satellites, using a single rocket including 96 from the US, into orbit from Sriharikota space centre.
Many of India's landmark missions have cost far less than their equivalents in Russia, Europe and the US. ISRO's Mars mission cost $73 million+ , compared with Nasa's Maven Mars launch, which came in at $671 million, the London's Times newspaper pointed out
The launch was "another success for the Indian Space Research Organisation, which is rapidly gaining a reputation globally for its effective yet low-cost missions," The Washington Post said, noting that India has already sent up dozens of satellites, including 20 at once last year.
Rocket lifts off from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, one after another, four stages of the rocket push the 320-ton PSLV (equivalent to the weight of 50 full grown elephants) higher into space. Then, at 18 minutes into the flight, three satellites, all Indian, are sent into orbit. After that, in matter of just 600 seconds, the other 101 satellites are let loose in the darkness of space, all in pairs,
India has emerged as a "key player" in a growing global commercial market for space-based surveillance and communication, world media commented on Wednesday after the country scripted history by successfully launching 104 satellites+ using a single rocket.
ISRO accelerates its technological and scientific intake in the run up to the first satellite launch Aryabhatta-I in 1975.
ISRO sent one lunar orbiter, Chandrayaan-1, on 22 October 2008 and one Mars orbiter, Mars Orbiter Mission, which successfully entered Mars orbit on 24 September 2014, making India the first nation to succeed on its first attempt, and ISRO the fourth space agency in the world as well as the first space agency in Asia to successfully reach Mars orbit.
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