The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) achieved a major milestone last night (Feb. 14) with a successful record-setting launch of 104 satellites on a single rocket.
The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) blasted off from India’s Satish Dhawan Space Centre at 10:58 p.m. EST (0358 GMT on Feb. 15) with three satellites from India and 101 smaller nano satellites (also called nanosats) from five other countries: the U.S., the Netherlands, Israel, Kazakhstan and Switzerland. This number crushes the previous record of 37 satellites sent into orbit aboard a single Russian Dnepr rocket in June 2014.
With a combined payload of about 3,040 lbs. (1,380 kilograms), the mission aims to launch the Cartosat-2 series satellite for Earth observation and the other 103 spacecraft into polar sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 314 miles (505 kilometers), ISRO officials said.