India’s Record-Setting Satellite Launch

India’s space agency just put 20 satellites into orbit on a single launch—a record number for the agency. Only Russia and the United States have ever launched more satellites in a single mission. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is quickly proving to be an inexpensive option for space travel that could possibly rival emerging commercial aerospace companies. ISRO’s budget is just a fraction of NASA’s, but the Indian space program has still managed several significant achievements, such as a 2014 Mars orbiter mission and launching a prototype of its reusable space shuttle this May.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi famously commented ISRO spent less money to actually travel to Mars than Hollywood spent to film the movie “Gravity.” Now he continued to tout his country’s space program, describing the latest launch as a “monumental accomplishment.”

The 20 satellites that launched on June 22 included two from Indian academic institutions and ISRO’s own satellite for earth observation. The remaining 17 were from foreign countries (U.S., Canada, Germany, Indonesia), with most being for earth observation and one for amateur radio operations.

Source: Space Daily | Photo by ISRO

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