US President Donald Trump’s nominee for National Intelligence, Dan Coats, told the Senate Hearing Committee that he was “shocked” to learn India’s space agency successfully launched more than 100 satellites in one go, saying that the US cannot afford to be laggard.
“I was shocked the other day to read that India, on one rocket launch, deposited more than 100 satellites in space,” said Coats during his confirmation hearing for the position of Director of National Intelligence on Tuesday.
“They may be small in size with different functions but one rocket can send up, I think it was 104 platforms,” said Mr Coats, who will be supervising even the CIA.
In fact, out of 104, 96 satellites were for the US companies and most of them were launched for Planet Labs Inc, a San Francisco-based Earth-imaging company.
The successful launch of 104 has relegated even the US which had created a record in 2014 launching 37 satellites in a single go. All 104 satellites were lofted off by India’s PSLV rocket in a precisely timed method and all the 104 were put in their respective orbits in a span of 18 minutes, each travelling at 27,000 kmph.