Sriharikota (India), 15 Feb – India has created history by successfully launching 104 satellites on a single mission, overtaking the previous record of 37 satellites launched by Russia in 2014.
All but three of the satellites are from foreign countries, most of them from the United States.
The launch took place from the Sriharikota space centre in east India.
Observers say it is a sign that India is emerging as a major player in the multi-billion dollar space market.
Of the 104 small satellites, 96 belong to the United States while Israel, Kazakhstan, the United Arab Emirates, Switzerland and the Netherlands are the other foreign clients.
An Indian cartographic satellite, believed to be capable of taking high resolution images is also on board. It is expected to be used to monitor regional arch rivals Pakistan and China.
The BBC’s Sanjoy Majumder in Delhi says the successful launch is yet another feather in the cap of India’s ambitious space programme that has earned a reputation of offering a reliable low cost alternative to existing international players.
The Indian government has increased the budget for its space programme this year and also announced plans to send a mission to Venus.
Over the past two decades, India has become a key player in the lucrative commercial space market offering a low-cost alternative. BBC