The Indian Space Research Organization has achieved something great today, 104 great things to be more clear. It launched 104 satellites into space today with its PSLV rocket – more than any other launch vehicle on the planet, ever.
Before this mission, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle has placed 122 satellites in space in over 23 years. Its largest payload was 20 satellites in June 2016.
This time, the PSLV launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, India. It was carrying 88 satellites, called Doves, from US firm Planet. They will capture high-resolution images of Earth. The company said that, along with the 50 Doves that are already orbiting the globe, the newly launched ones now make up the largest group of satellites in human history.
The other satellites on the PSLV’s payload included India’s Cartosat-2 series satellite, which has the capability of high-resolution imaging and is aimed at Pakistan and China.
With this mission, ISRO took the crown from Russia’s space agency Roscosmos State Corporation. The latter had launched 37 satellites into the orbit in June 2014, with its Dnepr rocket.
ISRO was quite modest with announcing such an amazing feat with a simple tweet.
The PSLV will be put into action again in December. It will carry moon landers from Indian firm Team Indus and Japan’s Hakuto as they will be competing for Google’s $20 million Lunar XPrize. The mission here will be to successfully land a rover on the moon and have it cover 500 meters on its surface and send high-resolution images and videos to earth.