doi:10.1038/nindia.2016.81 Published online 22 June 2016
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched 20 satellites in one go today abroad its workhorse, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C34), from the Sriharikota space centre in south India.
The satellites include the 727.5 kg Cartosat-2 Series and 19 smaller co-passengers. The total weight of all the 20 satellites on-board was 1288 kg, ISRO sources said. This is the first time ISRO flew more than 10 satellites in a single launch. In 2008, it flew 10 satellites together. Russia holds the world record for placing the most number of satellites — 37 — in a single launch on board its 2014 Dnepr rocket.
The star of today's launch Cartosat-2 is expected to provide remote sensing services using its black and white and colour cameras.The imagery sent by the Cartosat-2 series satellite will be useful for cartographic applications, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation. It will also be useful in utility management services such as road network monitoring, water distribution, creation of land use maps, land information system (LIS) and geographical information system (GIS) applications.
Two other satellites launched today — Sathyabhamasat and Swayam — were built with help from students at Sathyabama University, Chennai and College of Engineering, Pune. They will be used for academic purposes. The rest of the 17 are international customer satellites from Canada, Germany, Indonesia and the United States, ISRO sources said.