India today launched one massive satellite weighing around 714kg, and 103 smaller ‘nano-satellites’ with a combined weight of 664kg. The rocket lift off from the Sriharikota spaceport, according statement by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
The main Earth observation satellite is said to be domestically-built, while other smaller ones are from places as diverse as Kazakhstan, the Netherlands and the UAE, as well as the US, which built 96 of the satellites.
ISRO is planning to compete with other major players in securing its own share of the rapidly-expanding telecom market. The excellence is known for having a particularly low-cost space program, which sets records regularly.India is responsible for some of the cheapest satellite launches on Earth.
NASA’s costly Curiosity rover and accompanying Mars mission, India sent a satellite to orbit the Red Planet in 2013 for a relatively cheap $73 million. Compare that with the Americans, who spent $671 million on theirs.
Calibrated within half an hour this year’s record launch, India record of national landmark last year with a 20-satellite launch on a single rocket. India beat Russia, which launched 39 satellites in one go in 2014.
But the ISRO isn’t resting on its laurels. The organization is looking to mount its own missions to Venus and Jupiter in the near future, similar to what NASA is planning.