India set a new record on Wednesday when space agency Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched 104 satellites from 7 different countries in to orbit, beating its previous personal best of 20 satellites in one go.
Out of the 104 satellites, 96 were from US, 3 from India and one each from Israel, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Switzerland and UAE.
PSLV-C37 / Cartosat -2 Series Mission Successfully Launched all 104 Satellites
— ISRO (@isro) February 15, 2017
Prior to India, Russia held the record when it sent 37 satellites in a single launch in 2014.
The Indian space agency has been in the limelight for the past few years for its economical project execution and 100 percent success rate in foreign satellite launches.
ISRO's low cost services are attracting a lot of foreign customers as new private players like SpaceX are yet to improve their cost effectiveness.
While for a satellite launch, SpaceX will charge around USD 60 million, ISRO charged an average of USD 3 million per satellite between 2013 and 2015.
Launched in 2014, India's Mass Orbiter Mission (MOM), also called Mangalyaan cost around USD 74 million as opposed to NASA's Mars orbiter MAVEN, which had a total mission cost of USD 672 million.
Last year ISRO launched 10 Indian satellites and 22 foreign satellites. On the back of foreign satellite launches, the forex revenue for ISRO's commercial arm, Antrix Corporation, went up 204.9 percent in 2015. In FY16, commercial launches brought in Rs 230 crore.
As per available reports, the average annual revenue of international satellite market for nearly 4 years is close to Rs 13 lakh crore, of which, the launch services market is worth Rs 0.37 lakh crore. The launch capacity available with ISRO earned a revenue of around Rs 239 crore through commercial launch services, which is about 0.6 percent of the global launch services market. (Read)
ISRO has also signed a contract with an ambitious Indian start-up called Team Indus to carry its spacecraft to the moon on its workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
The space agency also plans to revisit Mars and a trip to Venus in the coming years.
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