Firing into orbit from a barrier island on India’s east coast, a 145-foot-tall (44-meter) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle lifted off early Wednesday to deploy 20 satellites in a perch more than 300 miles (500 kilometers) above Earth.
Propelled by a solid-fueled core stage and six strap-on solid rocket motors, the PSLV XL launched at 0356 GMT Wednesday (11:56 p.m. EDT Tuesday) from the Satish Dhawan Space Center on nearly 2 million pounds of thrust.
The liftoff from the space center’s Second Launch Pad occurred at 9:26 a.m. local time in India with satellites for the Indian military, Indian universities, technology giant Google, the space agencies of Canada, Germany and Indonesia, and U.S.-based Planet, a San Francisco company aiming to cover the entire globe with small Earth observation spacecraft.
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