Just before midnight on Valentine's Day, India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle launched from the coast, carrying a total of 104 satellites—the most ever deployed from a single launch vehicle at once. Thanks to its onboard camera, we can watch as they're chucked into space one by one over the Earth.
Most of the satellites, shoebox-sized CubeSats called Doves, were designed and built by Planet, a San-Francisco based global imaging company. Combined with the 50 other Dove satellites Planet already has in low-Earth orbit, the company boasts "the biggest fleet of Earth-imaging satellites — and of satellites in general — in human history," Mike Safyan, director of launch and regulatory affairs at Planet, told The Verge .
The rest of the tagalongs include the mission-primary Cartosat 2D environmental satellite and two Indian-built nanosatellites. Together, the swarm will help Indian infrastructure planners and mapmakers, as Spaceflight Now notes.
Get six of our favorite Motherboard stories every day by signing up for our newsletter .
from Watch the Most Satellites Ever Being Launched From a Single Space Mission