For over two decades, it has impeccably accomplished the tasks allotted. This morning, with 37 consecutive successes behind it, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) will lift-off from Sriharikota with 104 satellites on board, almost thrice the number that a Russian rocket, which currently holds the record, carried three years ago.

It is not that there is no other rocket in the world that can haul so many spacecraft. Indeed, there are several with much higher payload capacities than the PSLV. Rather, today’s flight is a testament to the meticulous mission planning and flawless execution capabilities that Isro’s launch vehicle teams are capable of.

AUTHOR

Gopal Raj

Gopal is a science journalist based in Thiruvananthapuram who has written extensively about the Indian space programme for over two decades and published a book, ‘Reach for the Stars: The Evolution of India’s Rocket Programme’. Follow him on Twitter @GopalRajN

View Full Profile

Sign up to our India edition to read this story instantly

To sign up, you’ll create an account that will give you access to a new free story published once a week and archive of 214+ previously published free stories from our India edition. You’ll also receive one email every morning from us introducing the day’s story.

If you’ve already signed up, just enter your email below or login using Facebook or Google.