ISRO successfully launched record 104 satellites by Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) in a single mission.
No other country has ever tried to hit a century in a single mission. Russian Space Agency held a record of launching 37 satellites in one go during its mission in June 2014. India previously launched 23 satellites in a single mission in June 2015.
PSLV-C37 carrying the 104 satellites lifted off from the first launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. It was PSLV’s 39th flight.
Out of the total 104 satellites placed in orbit, 101 satellites belonged to six foreign countries. They included 96 from the US and one each from Israel, the UAE, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Kazakhstan.
PSLV first injected its main payload Cartosat- 2 series, India’s indigenously built earth observation satellite. It was followed by two other nanosatellites of Isro —- INS-1A and INS-1B.
Equipped with panchromatic and multispectral cameras, the 664kg Cartosat -2 will provide remote sensing services similar to that of its predecessors.
Images from the satellite will be used for cartographic applications, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation, utility management like road network monitoring, water distribution, creation of land use maps, change detection to bring out geographical and manmade features and various other land information system (LIS) and geographical information system (GSI) applications.
INS-1A and INS-1B are versatile and modular nanosatellite bus system envisioned for future science and experimental payload.
8 other satellites belonging to Spire Global, US, will provide services for vessel tracking and weather measurement.
The smaller satellites belong to the US, Israel, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates will be launched.
96 of the satellites belong to the USA. 88 of the American satellites belong to a San Francisco based start-up company Planet Inc which is sending a swarm of small 4.7 kg each satellite it calls ‘Doves’. This constellation will image earth like never before and with a high repeat rate providing satellite imagery at an affordable cost.