India will launch a record 103 satellites at one go in the first week of February, the state-owned space agency has said.
The satellites — three big and 100 small — will be launched into space by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from the southern spaceport of Sriharikota, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) scientists said at Indian Science Congress in the southern temple town of Tirupati Wednesday.
The PSLV C37 will carry one satellite of the Cartosat series, two small ISRO satellites and 100 small commercial satellites, mostly from the US while the rest from other nations including France and Germany.
Earlier the plan was to launch 83 satellites, but it was modified to 100 in a single mission due to the addition of 20 more foreign satellites recently, the scientists said.
The launch will be a record one as this will be the first time in ISRO’s history that such a large number of satellites will be sent to space at one go. India had in June 2016 launched some 22 satellites into space in a single mission.
As of now, the record for the most number of satellites launched in a single mission belongs to Russia, which sent up 37 satellites in 2014. US space agency Nasa launched 29.
Launching several satellites at one go reduces cost and India has been trying to position itself as a key player in the lucrative international commercial space market as an effective but low-cost operator.