India launches 20 satellites in single mission

New Delhi—India successfully launched Wednesday a rocket carrying a record 20 satellites as its famously frugal space agency looks to grab a larger slice of the lucrative commercial space market.
The rocket blasted off from the southern spaceport of Sriharikota carrying satellites from the US, Germany, Canada and Indonesia, the most in a single Indian mission.
Most of the satellites will enter orbit to observe and measure the Earth´s atmosphere, while another aims to provide service for amateur radio operators.
“Each of these small objects that you are putting into space will carry out their own activity, which is independent of the other, and each of them will live a wonderful life for a finite period,” Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman A.S Kiran Kumar told the NDTV news network.
The business of putting commercial satellites into space for a fee is growing as phone, Internet and other companies as well as countries seek greater and more high-tech communications.
India is competing with other international players for a greater share of that launch market, and is known for its low-cost space programme.—AFP

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