• An Nguyen

India in record satellite launch

India’s space agency has successfully launched 104 satellites from a single rocket. The launch has almost tripled the current record of 37 satellites Russia sent into orbit in 2014. According to CNN.com, that is a record feat that will cement the country's space smarts after its successful Mars orbiter mission.

This is going to be a big deal because it shows the sophistication of India's space program. India, China, and Japan have all outlined bold space exploration plans for 2017. Countries with smaller powers, like South Korea, also want to get in on the act with ambitions of their own.

The increasing competition for space-related power in Asia is similar to the Cold War space race of the mid-20th century. The pursuit of science and technological advancement plus the economic and commercial benefits it brings is also a big deal.

To date, India has launched 79 satellites from 21 countries, including satellites from big companies like Google and Airbus, earning India at least $157 million, according to government figures. In 2016, it launched 20 satellites at once, but the most recent launch was their biggest challenge.

In 2018, India plans to launch its second lunar mission. The Chandrayaan-2 will orbit, land, and send a wheeled rover on the moon to collect lunar rock or soil. India also plans a mission to study the sun, plus a mission to Venus, and a follow up to its first Mars mission. As of now, manned missions aren't being pursued but are a possibility.