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India's satellite launch wins accolades from international media

Last Modified Saturday, 18 February 2017 (16:57 IST)
New Delhi: India today carved out a niche in annals of space science by successfully launching 104 satellites on a single mission, overtaking the previous record of 37 satellites launched by Russia in 2014 and winning accolades from the international community and the global media. The feat has been appreciated by the international press with organisations like BBC calling it "yet another feather in the cap of India's ambitious space programme" that has earned a reputation of offering a reliable low cost alternative to existing international players. "India just launched a record-breaking 104 satellites into space from one rocket", screamed a headline in the prestigious website 'The Washington Post'. "In India’s space center on the barrier island of Sriharikota, the white-jacketed scientists held their collective breath. India’s trusty red-and-white satellite launch vehicle had just lifted off from its launchpad moments before and blasted into orbit," the story ran.

UK's leading daily, 'The Guardian' quoted chairman Kiran Kumar of stating that the achievement today is helping "maximise Indian capability with each launch and trying to utilise that launch for the ability it has got, and get the maximum in return". The launch would help to cement India’s place as a serious player in the burgeoning private space market, expected to significantly grow as the demand for telecommunications services increases. The daily also pointed out that in September 2014, India had become just the fourth after the US, Russia and the European Space Agency to successfully guide a spacecraft into orbit around Mars.
The global media has also taken note of India's Budget for fiscal 2017-18 that would increase the budget for the space programme this year. Of the 104, 101 are foreign satellites to serve international customers as the South Asian nation (India) seeks a bigger share of the USD300 billion global space industry, said a report in China Daily. Out of 101 nano satellites, 96 were from the United States and one each from Israel, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.
Wire agency Reuters in one of its dispatches pointed out how Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been "bullish on India's space program and has repeatedly praised the efforts of scientists who three years ago pulled off a low-cost mission to send a probe to orbit Mars that succeeded at the first attempt". ISRO's low prices attracted international customers to launch 75 satellites last year from Sriharikota in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. The launch of PSLV-C37 in a single payload, including the Cartosat-2 series and 103 co-passenger satellites, together weighed over 650 kg, the report said. A report in the 'Japan Times' said, "ISRO is also mulling the idea of missions to Jupiter and Venus". (UNI)
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