The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) set a new world record by launching 104 satellites in about 18 minutes by ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) in a single mission.
ISRO broke all the previous records; earlier, the Russian Space Agency held the record for launching 37 satellites in June 2014.
Out of the 104 satellites, 96 satellites belonged to the US and one each to Israel, the UAE, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Kazakhstan, while the remaining three belonged to India.
On February 15, 2017, PSLV-C37 lifted off with the satellites from a launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota. Just seventeen minutes later, it started placing the satellites one after another into their orbits at a risky interval of just a few seconds.
PSLV was traveling at the speed of about 27,358 km/h (17,000 mph). This mission was very risky as launching at that velocity and the short interval between satellite deployments could have resulted in a collision of the satellites through an incorrect launch path.
However, the mission went flawlessly…all of the satellites were launched successfully in the sky.
ISRO is not only efficient, but it is also cost effective. ISRO’s cost involved in launching a spacecraft to the moon in 2014 was just $74 million. In comparison, NASA spent around $670 million for its own Mars mission that same year.