Interactive: How many satellites has India launched?

ISRO's PSLV C-47 carrying the Cartosat-3 satellite and 13 nano satellites from the U.S. lifts off from Sriharikota on November 27.  

RISAT-2BR1, India's 32nd earth observation satellite, was successfully launched on board the PSLV-C48 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on December 11. This also was the 50th launch of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and the 75th launch the space port in Sriharikota. It is accompanied by nine commercial satellites of Israel, Italy, Japan and the United States.

From the experimental satellite Aryabhatta launched in 1975, to RISAT-2BR1 in 2019, India’s space odyssey has spanned 44 years and over 100 satellites.

The below slideshow highlights India’s space launches over the years.


Most of India’s satellites — 62% — are used for communication and earth observation.

India’s first earth observation satellite was Bhaskara-I, an experimental remote sensor which was placed in orbit in 1979. It consisted of two television cameras which gathered data on hydrology and forestry.

In contrast, one of Cartosat-3’s (the launch prior to RISAT-2BR1) cameras offers a ground resolution of 25 cm — this means it can sight an object of width as low as 25cm from a height of around 500 km.

According to ISRO, “The imageries from [Cartosat series] satellites are useful for cartographic applications, urban and rural applications, infrastructure planning, coastal land use and regulation, utility management such as monitoring road networks, water grids or distribution, creation of land use maps, among others.”

The IRNSS-1A was India’s first navigation satellite, launched in 2013. Since then, seven more have been placed in orbit.

In 2016, the ISRO launched eight satellites, at the time the highest annual output. It repeated the feat in 2017, and in 2018, launched a record nine satellites (including a student-made satellite). The year 2019 has so far seen six launches.


India has a high success rate in launching satellites — nearly 90% of its satellites are successfully placed in orbit. Due to this track record, several foreign satellites have piggybacked on PSLV, which is dubbed the ISRO’s workhorse — the Cartosat-3 had 13 small satellites for the U.S.

Since it was first launched in 1993, it has been successful in 48 out of 50 launches, a success rate of 96%.

The latest launch was in PSLV’s ‘XL’ configuration, which employs strap-on boosters for more power.

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 12:15:29 PM |

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