India launched a communication satellite using its most powerful rocket on Monday, improving its prospects of winning a bigger share of the more than $300 billion global space industry and its hopes of a manned mission.
The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mk III, or "Fat Boy", lifted off from the Sriharikota space center in southern India at 5.28 p.m. (1158 GMT) in clear blue skies.
An Indian rocket blasted off Wednesday morning from Sriharikota in eastern India putting a record 104 satellites into space in a single launch, surpassing Russia’s previous feat of launching 37 satellites one year ago, according to India’s space agency.
The launch also marked a milestone in the country’s efforts to emerge as a serious contender in the multi-billion dollar global commercial space industry by slashing costs.
Besides a 714 kilogram earth observation satellite, the others were mostly nano satellites — those weighing up to 10 kilograms.