NEW DELHI, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- India Friday launched 31 satellites in a single mission from the southern spaceport of Sriharikota.
The state-owned Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)'s trusted workhorse Polar Launch Satellite Vehicle (PSLV) lifted off with the 31 satellites, including the country's 100th satellite Cartosat (earth observation satellite) and 28 foreign satellites, at 9:29 a.m. local time.
Within a couple of hours, all the satellites were placed into two different orbits, 30 in an orbit 550 km above and one 359 km above the Earth.
"ISRO is starting 2018 with the successful launch of Cartosat, a nanosat, microsat and 28 customer satellites. We are happy to provide a New Year's gift to the country," ISRO chief A.S. Kiran Kumar told the media.
Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have congratulated the country's space scientists for the successful launch.
The Cartosat is essentially a remote sensing satellite, equipped with panchromatic and multi-spectral cameras and has a shelf life of five years.
Other satellites comprise one micro and nano satellite each from India as well as three micro and 25 nanosatellites from six countries - Canada, Finland, France, South Korea, Britain and the United States.
The launch of the satellites was originally slated for Jan. 10.
India had in February last year launched 104 satellites in a single mission. All but three of the satellites were from foreign countries, most of them from the United States.