People in a field watch as an Indian communication satellite GSAT-12 onboard a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV C-17 blasts off from Sriharikota in eastern India, July 15, 2011. Getty Images/AFP/Seshadri Sukumar

UPDATE: 11:20 p.m. EST — The Indian Space Research Organizatiojn successfully launched a four-stage Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket carrying a record 104 satellites early Wednesday (local time), including 96 nano satellites from the U.S.

The launch, which took place from the spaceport of Sriharikota in the eastern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, was “normal as expected,” the space agency confirmed. The successful launch bests the record for the maximum number of satellites launched in a single mission, which was, until now, held by Russia.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee congratulated ISRO, with the latter calling the launch a “landmark event in the history of our space program.”

Original story:

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced Monday it will attempt to launch a record 104 satellites on a single rocket. The launch, scheduled to take place at 9:28 a.m. local time Wednesday (10:58 p.m. EST Tuesday) will be carried out via a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from the eastern Indian spaceport of Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

Previous versions of the PSLV rocket have been successfully used to launch several low-Earth orbit satellites, India’s Chandrayaan lunar probe and the Mars Orbiter Mission, also called Mangalyaan.

“The co-passenger satellites comprise 101 nano satellites, one each from Israel, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates and 96 from United States of America, as well as two nano satellites from India. ... PSLV-C37 also carries two ISRO nano satellites (INS-1A and INS-1B), as co-passenger satellites,” the space agency said in a statement.

In addition, the PSLV-C37 will seek to place a Cartosat-2 series Earth observation satellite in a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of about 314 miles. The total weight of the payload will be roughly 3,040 pounds.

“The 101 international customer nano satellites are being launched as part of the commercial arrangements between Antrix Corporation Limited, a Government of India company under Department of Space, the commercial arm of ISRO and the international customers,” ISRO said.

The launch can be watched live here from 8:50 a.m. local time Wednesday (10:20 p.m. EST Tuesday).

The current record for the maximum number of satellites launched in a single mission is held by Russia, whose Dnepr rocket lifted off with a cluster of 37 satellites in June 2014. Prior to that, in 2013, NASA used a Minotaur 1 rocket to place 29 satellites in orbit.

The PSLV launch comes just days after the release of the Indian government's annual budget that earmarked funds for an upcoming mission to Venus, a Mars orbiter mission, and the Aditya 1 mission, which seeks to place a spacecraft in the Lagrangian point L1 — a point of equilibrium that lies between Earth and the sun.

The mission to Venus, whose details are yet to be revealed, would be India’s first.

“India should be part of this global adventure and exploring Venus and Mars is very worthwhile since humans definitely need another habitation beyond Earth,” former ISRO chairman K. Kasturirangan told the Press Trust of India.