"The mission was perfect," G Madhavan Nair, chairman of the Bangalore-based Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), said after the launch, which was telecast live by Doordarshan, the public broadcaster.

 

"It is a historic moment for us because it is the first time that we have launched 10 satellites in a single mission," he said while congratulating his scientists.

 

High-resolution images 

 

The rocket's unprecedented payload included an Indian remote-sensing satellite known as the Cartosat-2A, a mini satellite and eight so-called nano-satellites developed by foreign research institutions, including those from Germany and Canada.

  

The Indian-made Cartosat-2A remote sensing satellite, which is fitted with a high resolution camera for recording clear images from space was the main satellite launched, an ISRO spokesman said.

   

High-resolution images and data from Cartosat will be used to manage infrastructure and natural resources in the country.

   

The mini satellite will be used to provide technological data which India plans to share with other countries. The eight other smaller research satellites belonging to Germany and Canada were launched under a commercial agreement.

 

India started its space programme in 1963, and has since developed and put several of its own satellites into space.

 

It has also designed and built launch rockets to reduce dependence on overseas space agencies.