The Indian Space Research Organization launched a flock of 104 satellites into space over the course of 18 minutes on Wednesday. Credit Indian Space Research Organization.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — India’s space agency launched a collection of 104 satellites into space over the course of 18 minutes Wednesday, which nearly tripled the previous record for single-day satellite launches, establishing themselves as a key player in the growing commercial space market.

The launch was high-risk because the satellites, released in rapid-fire fashion every few seconds from a single rocket as it traveled at 17,000 miles an hour, could collide with one another if ejected into the wrong path.

“They have spent months figuring out how to make an adapter, which will release these small babies into space one after another,” said Pallava Bagla, science editor for NDTV, a cable news station. “Now, all of them are in space.”

Wednesday’s launch was watched closely by the firms that placed satellites in orbit, India’s space agency charges significantly less than its European and North American competitors, said C. Uday Bhaskar, the director of the Society for Policy Studies, a public policy research group based in New Delhi. Eighty-eight of the 104 satellites launched Wednesday were tiny, weighing about 10 pounds each. Called Doves, they belong to Planet Labs, a private company based in San Francisco that sells data to governments and commercial entities, and they constituted the largest satellite constellation ever launched into space.

The chairman of the Indian space agency, A. S. Kiran Kumar, said that commercial fees covered around half of the cost of Wednesday’s mission.

“I’m sure the global market will be looking at this pretty closely,” Bhaskar said. “If they can send 90 of them up for $10 million, hypothetically, then just by Moore’s Law, next time they should be able to send 120 satellites.”

The Indian Space Research Organization has gained more attention in recent years for their ability to stage missions at very low cost. This is, in part, because the agency’s scientists are paid less than those in Russia, Europe and North America. In 2014, India sent a spacecraft to Mars for $74 million, a small fraction of the $671 million the United States spent for a Mars mission that same year, and showing up a regional rival, China, whose own Mars mission failed in 2012.

Information from The New York Times contributed to this report.