GLOBAL ECONOMY

India launches 104 satellites in single day, breaking record

India’s space program made history Wednesday when it put 104 satellites into orbit, which included 88 from San Francisco-based Planet Labs Inc., Bloomberg reported.

The satellites will reportedly be used to map the Earth and monitor illegal fishing and piracy. Microgravity experiments will also be conducted.

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle carried small satellites from seven countries The rocket took off at 9:28  a.m. from the southeastern part of the country.

India hopes to become a player in the multibillion-dollar space launch market, and has successfully placed light satellites into orbit in recent years.

It hopes eventually to send astronauts into space.

In September 2014, it successfully guided a spacecraft into orbit around Mars. Only the United States, the former Soviet Union and the European Space Agency have been able to do that before.

In May, India successfully tested its first small space shuttle as part of its efforts to make low-cost reusable spacecraft.

Space expert Pallava Bagla, who writes for science magazines, said the test paves the way for India to embark on low-cost space missions. He said the United States and some other countries have abandoned the use of winged reusable spacecraft, but India hopes to bring down the cost of access to space by 90 percent by using reusable vehicles.

The Associated Press contributed to this report