ISRO hits new Milestone by Putting 8 satellites in single flight

India’s space agency on Monday put eight satellites into two separate orbits in a single flight, a first for the agency as it hit another milestone in its low-cost space mission.

The Indian Space Research Organization’s rocket–which took off at just after 9 a.m. local time–first released a weather forecasting satellite of the agency. Soon after, it put seven satellites—three from Algeria, one each from Canada and the U.S., and two from Indian educational institutions—into another orbit.

It was the 37th flight for ISRO’s rocket, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, which blasted off from Sriharikota in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

While the PSLV has put several satellites into space, it hasn’t put them into separate orbits as it did Monday. The mission was also the rocket’s longest, at about 2 hours and 15 minutes, ISRO said.

“Moment of immense joy & pride for India,” the country’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a congratulatory message. He said the successful launch has “touched the lives” of 1.25 billion Indians and “made India proud worldwide”.

India wants to become a budget option for launching satellites. With today’s launch, the number of satellites carried by ISRO’s workhorse rocket, PSLV, has reached 121, including 79 from overseas.

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