15
$\begingroup$

What is the highest number of satellites that have been launched on a single rocket? What were the number of stages used in that launch?

(It may be from the past or a future mission)

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Considering the recent ISRO mission putting 104 satellites in orbit, I wonder if you'd consider accepting a new answer?This one appears to state the correct answer now. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Feb 16 '17 at 3:27
10
$\begingroup$

As of Feb 15, 2017, it is 104 satellites by India's ISRO.

PSLV-C37 launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at 09:28 local time (03:58 UTC).

ISRO-104

ISRO-ndtv

$\endgroup$
21
$\begingroup$

(This answer is up to date as of the end of 2013, the answer changes periodically, however, so...)

Depends on your definition a bit. I'm going to say that satellites must be able to communicate with the ground independently. Given that definition, The highest attempted (That I know about) was the DNEPR launch of 2006, with 18 satellites on board. The highest successful appears to be an DNEPER launch on 17.04.2007, with 12 satellites on board. The highest planned is a 29 satellite launch of a DNEPR planned sometime in 2013. The most I can find of a single design that was successful appears to be the latest ORBCOMM Falcon 9 launches, which carried 11 satellites of the same design. Globalstar attempted to launch 12 on the same mission on 9/9/1998 on a Zenit 2, but the mission failed.

For non-communicating satellites, the most is no doubt Project West Ford, which launched 480,000,000 needles in to space to serve as an artificial ionosphere.

For the record, here's some of the statistics about the number of stages for each vehicle (Thanks Paul!):

EDIT- The record changed a few times in 2013, and now the record for the most satellites in a single launch is 32, set by the DNEPR launch on Nov 21, 2013.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ PSLV-C37 Successfully Launches 104 Satellites in a Single Flight latest updated. $\endgroup$ – kiran Feb 17 '17 at 10:56
10
$\begingroup$

In 2014, the record for the maximum number of satellites to be launched in a single mission was set by the DNEPR rocket from Russia, releasing 37 satellites, 34 of them directly. Source: NASA News

$\endgroup$
3
$\begingroup$

Depending on how fine (or creative!) your definitions are, the answer may be "about a hundred, and either 2014 or later this year".

The SpaceX CRS-3 flight in 2014 carried the main payload, a Dragon resupply flight for the space station, and five cubesats. One of these, KickSat, was a container designed to release 104 independently orbiting microsatellites. Each would have a small radio, and is apparently capable of independent ground communication. However, the timer on the satellite failed, and it did not release the microsatellites before re-entering.

A second attempt is due to fly in July 2016; it's not clear exactly how many microsatellites are involved this time around, or how many other secondary payloads are on the launch, but "around a hundred" seems a good estimate.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ 104 independed microsatellites, i am just wondering that testing and using this type of satellites could give useful data and help mabye to make better satellites in to the future, but 104 in one missions and thinking that we could have other payloads with so much satellites or even more in the next upcoming launches it could lead in to a dangerous scenario. Suposing a malfunction in the launching procedure by firing longer the upper stage and puting them in a higher orbit would transform them not in useful satellites but in dangerous space debris. $\endgroup$ – Mark777 Jun 2 '16 at 11:50
  • $\begingroup$ @MarkBoghdani I'm guessing it would be fairly easy, should the carrier satellite end up in too high an orbit, to simply override the release switch and leave them locked inside the carrier. No additional debris risk there... $\endgroup$ – Andrew Jun 2 '16 at 11:56
  • $\begingroup$ I see so you mean that any type of malfunction would not lead to an uncontrolled fairing and launching satellites. So everything would be secured and not leading to a payload separations or could be possible that even this could happen? $\endgroup$ – Mark777 Jun 2 '16 at 12:14
  • $\begingroup$ Well, it's always possible things can go wrong - there's no shortage of 'normal' satellites that have broken up for some reason or another! - but simple malfunctions won't automatically lead to dumping microsatellites into unsuitable orbits. $\endgroup$ – Andrew Jun 2 '16 at 12:32
  • $\begingroup$ Well just to know per info has happened before an ancontrolled fairing of the satellites in the latest years were technology is advanced? Let say because of automated operations. The controling center could cancel an "undesired" operation but has happened before that the mission team could not control and manage the satellite fairing, an undesired fairing of the satellite? This looks like a conversation but i was just curious to know. $\endgroup$ – Mark777 Jun 2 '16 at 13:05
3
$\begingroup$

Now the previous answer might be outdated. ISRO sets the record with 20 satellites launched at once.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)’s big mission 22nd June 2016 has seen 20 satellites launched successfully in an orbit. The PSLV-C34 mission is being called as the biggest ever mission for India’s space agency.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ While this was doubtless ISRO's largest launch, it couldn't have set a world record, since 20 is less than the 2014 DNEPR launches with as many as 37 launched. $\endgroup$ – Nathan Tuggy Jun 27 '16 at 4:19
3
$\begingroup$

ISRO is scheduled to launch 103 satellites on a single PSLV next month (Feb 2017).

$\endgroup$
-3
$\begingroup$

Using the definition of "Satellite" as something designed and capable of communicating with ground independently, on April 28, 2008 a C9 mission PSLV rocket of Indian Space Research Organisation successfully placed 10 satellites in orbit

$\endgroup$
-3
$\begingroup$

There was a mission to launch hundreds of microsatellites from a canister by some university program. The AF was worried about this launch because of their capabilities to track object <10 cm is extremely limited. The canister went up in orbit and failed to deploy the hundreds of satellites to the relief of the USAF.

I cannot remember the University Project. It would be great if someone figured this out.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Was this the KickSat mentioned in Andrew's answer? $\endgroup$ – Nathan Tuggy Jun 27 '16 at 4:19
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ What is the source of the claim that the US Air Force was worried about KickSat's launch and relieved it didn't deploy its femtosat Sprites? NASA's carefully planned orbit ensured a very brief lifespan, and parts of the USAF are certainly keen to see results (eg, see USAF Academy's The Next Little Thing: Femtosatellites), as are many organisations. $\endgroup$ – Leorex Jul 19 '16 at 23:19
-3
$\begingroup$

1) PSLV February ,2017 ISRO is going to launch 103 satellites in this PSLV. The present record for launching the highest number of satellites at one launch is held by Russia which launched 37 satellites on June 19, 2004 earlier this was planned to be launched in January with 83 satellites

2) PSLV 28 December 2017 This launch is contracted by Team Indus, for Google Lunar X Prize , this would be an exceptional launch since this would be carrying 3 rovers to moon ,while never have a rocket carried even 2

3) GSLV Mk III 20 January 2017 This will launch GSAT-19E , a successful launch will make ISRO self reliable for launching satellites of 3200 kgs range to geostationary orbits

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Someone already mentioned the first of these; the other two aren't especially relevant. $\endgroup$ – Nathan Tuggy Jan 12 '17 at 3:07

protected by uhoh Feb 15 '17 at 10:00

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.