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ISRO to Launch 104 Satellites on One Rocket

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will attempt to launch 104 satellites on a single rocket in February 2017. 
ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle will carry three satellites from India, and another 101 smaller nano satellites from five countries including the USA. 
If things go as planned, ISRO would be able to break the record set by Russia, which sent 37 satellites in one go in 2014. ISRO’s attempt, however, is more about making satellite launches cheaper than shattering records. 

“Target of PSLV-C37 to launch the maximum number of satellites, tentatively on Feb. 15 is not for creating a record or publicity, it is aimed at cutting the costs down,” Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre director K. Sivan told The Times of India. “More the number of satellites launched in one mission, lesser the cost incurred. It benefits the user and is technologically a better choice,” he added. 

Pulling this feat off will require a special strategy. Indian satellites — the heaviest of the lot — will separate “axially along the vehicle,” according to B. Jayakumar, mission director at ISRO.
Soon afterwards, 81 satellites will get separated in a radical direction, and the other 20 satellites will be released in a different sequence, he added. 
ISRO is known for setting big records. In 2014, it became the first Asian country to put a satellite into the orbit of Mars. It did so at a fraction of the cost of a similar launch in the U.S. and Europe.

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