The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) will be launching 20 satellites weighing a total of about 1,288 kg in one go on 22 June, a feat that has been achieved only by Nasa, which had launched 29 satellites together.
Isro's workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) in its thirty-sixth flight (PSLV-C34), will launch the 727.5 kg Cartosat-2 series satellite for earth observation and 19 co-passenger satellites, together weighing about 560 kg at lift-off into a 505 km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO).
PSLV-C34 will be launched from the second launch pad (SLP) of Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota on 22 June 2016 at 09:25 hrs (IST).
It will be the fourteenth flight of PSLV in 'XL' configuration (with the use of solid strap-on motors).
The co-passenger satellites are from USA, Canada, Germany and Indonesia as well as two satellites from Indian university/academic institute. The total weight of all the 20 satellites to be carried onboard PSLV-C34 will be about 1,288 kg.
The Cartostat-2 series satellite is similar to the Cartostat 2A and 2B, launched earlier.
After its injection into the 505 km polar sun-synchronous orbit by PSLV-C34, the satellite will be brought into operational configuration, following which it will begin providing regular remote sensing services using its panchromatic and multispectral cameras.
The imagery sent by the satellite will be useful for 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 (GSM) applications.
Prominent among the satellite besides India's own Cartosat are Indonesia's Lapan-A3 earth observation microsatellite; Germany's BRIOS (Berlin Infrared Optical System), a small scientific satellite from the German Aerospace Centre (DLR); Canada's M3MSat (Maritime Monitoring and Messaging Micro-satellite) a technology demontrator jointly funded by Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and GHGSat-D, an earth observationsatellite built by Space Flight Laboratory at the University of Toronto Institute fot Atmospheric Studies; USA's SkySat Gen2-1(SkySat-3) a small earth imaging satellite designed and built by Terra Bella, a Google company and Dove Satellites (Flock-2P) by The Planet Labs, (a total of 12 imaging satellites each weighing 4.7 kg).
Besides the PSLV-C34 mission will carry Sathyabamasat from Chennai's Satyabhama University and the Swayam satellite from College of Engineering, Pune.