ISRO successfully launched India's weather observation satellite Cartosat 2 Series and 29 other spacecraft onboard its dependable Polar rocket PSLV-C40 from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
Today's successful mission came after a rare failure in August last year when the PSLV-C39 could not release the backup navigation satellite IRNSS-1H due to a technical snag in the fourth and last stage.
The lift-off was postponed by a minute because of fear of collision with space debris.
Here are 10 highlights about the historic launch by ISRO:
1. PSLV-C40 carrying Cartosat-2 Series and 30 other satellites, including those from the US, France, Finland, the UK, South Korea and Canada.
2. PM Narendra Modi hailed ISRO scientists for the successful mission, saying the moment signifies the agency's achievements as well the country's "bright future" in space programme.
3. Scientists said that the mission is a unique one, since the satellites were launched in two orbits. Thirty of the satellites were launched in an orbit 550 km about, and one 359-km above the Earth.
4. The 44.4-metre tall PSLV-C40 roared into a clear sky after a perfect lift-off after a 28-hour countdown.
5. The 320-tonne rocket ejected the satellites one-by-one and deployed them into the earth's lower orbit about 17 minutes and 18 seconds after the lift-off. The total weight of all the 31 satellites carried on-board PSLV-C40 is about 1,323 kgs.
6. "After 100 successes there can still be failures. We should learn from the past mistakes. We have made rigorous changes after the failure," said ISRO chief AS Kiran Kumar after the launch.
7. The whole process of placing the satellites in two orbits will take 2 hours 21 minutes -- the longest so far. The 28-hour countdown for the launch of the PSLV started at 5.29 am on Thursday.
8. The PSLV-C40 mission is happening four months after the failure of PSLV-C39.
9. As an observational satellite, Cartosat will beam high-quality images for cartographic, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation and utility management like road network monitoring.
10. "This mission is an excellent tribute to our chairman AS Kiran Kumar and a welcome to chairman-designate K Sivan. Three consecutive launches are planned from second launch pad in addition to those in the first launch pad. The construction of the second assembly centre is in its final phase of completion. A project is underway to increase capability of first launch pad to 15 launches a year" said Satish Dhawan Space Centre director P Kunhikrishnan.