Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on 22 June 2016 launched a record 20 satellites in a single mission from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

With this launch of 20 satellites, ISRO also managed to break its previous record of placing 10 satellites into orbit in a single mission in 2008.

The 20 satellites including India’s latest earth observation satellite Cartosat-2 was launched on-board Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV C-34. The other 19 satellites were from the US, Germany, Canada and Indonesia as well as two satellites from Sathyabama University, Chennai, and the College of Engineering, Pune.

Cartosat-2 Series Satellite

The Cartosat-2 series satellite is the primary satellite carried by PSLV-C34. This satellite is similar to the earlier Cartosat-2, 2A and 2B. After its injection into a 505 km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit by PSLV-C34, the satellite will be brought to operational configuration following which it will begin providing regular remote sensing services using Panchromatic and Multispectral cameras.

The imagery sent by the satellite will be useful cartographic applications, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation, utility management like road network monitoring, water distribution, creation of land use maps, precision study, change detection to bring out geographical and manmade features and various other Land Information System (LIS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) applications.

Satellites Included

LAPAN A3 of Indonesia: The micro-satellite will be used for earth surveillance and magnetic field monitoring.

BIROS from Germany: This is meant for remote sensing of high temperature events.

SKYSAT GEN 2-1 from US: It will be used for earth imaging. The micro-satellite was developed by Google Company Terra Bella's SkySat Gen2-1.

Dove Satellites from US: it comprises of a total of 12 Flock-2P Earth imaging satellites.

Maritime Monitoring and Messaging Microsatellite (M3MSAT) from Canada: This micro-satellite of Canada will be used for collection and study of automatic identification system signals from low earth orbit.

GHGSat-D from Canada: It is an Earth observation satellite and is meant for measuring the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases (Carbon Dioxide and Methane).

Sathyabamasat (Sathyabama University, Chennai): The satellite aims to collect data on green house gases.

Swayam (College of Engineering, Pune): The satellite aims to provide point to point messaging services to the HAM (amateur radio) community.

Cartosat-2 along with its 19 co-passenger satellites together weighing about 560 kg at lift-off was injected into a 505-km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit.

According to ISRO, the total weight of all the 20 satellites was about 1288 kg