India has set a new benchmark in launching satellites in a single mission, as the country's Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) successfully sent 104 satellites into orbit on Wednesday (15 February).
Soon after the launch, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to the secretary of the Department of Space and chairman of the space agency A S Kiran Kumar and congratulated his entire team for the "exceptional achievement".
"This remarkable feat by @Isro is yet another proud moment for our space scientific community and the nation. India salutes our scientists," Modi tweeted.
The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)-37 successfully lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota located in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh at 10am local time (4.30am GMT).
The country broke the previous record of 37 satellites launched by Russia in 2014.
According to reports, PSLV first launched the main 714kg Cartosat-2 Series satellite and then sent 103 smaller "nano" co-passenger satellites together, weighing 664kg at lift-off into polar Sun Synchronous Orbit, about 520km from Earth.
The Hindustan Times reported that overall the entire launch was carrying a satellite mass of about 1,378kg.
There were 101 co-passenger satellites, 96 of which were from the US, while the remaining belonged to Israel, Kazakhstan, UAE, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
Two of India's nano satellites – INS-1A and INS-1B – weighing about 30kg, were also injected to accompany bigger satellites on the PSLV.
While in 2014 India successfully launched its mission to Mars, the government recently announced that it was planning a mission to Venus as well.