Dataset of Government Satellites in Space
This dataset contains 490 entries.

  Overview

This is a dataset of government satellites, based on UCS Satellite Database compiled by the Union of Concerned Scientist (UCS).

Most government satellites are launched for the purpose of earth observation (53.3%).Most government satellites are launched for the purpose of earth observation (53.3%).Majority of these satellites are LEO satellites, with around 365 (74.5%) launched so far.


  Data Table

Preparing data

  More..

Insights from the government satellite dataset

  Which year saw the most government satellites launched?

That year is 2018, which saw 63 government satellites launched.

  Who operates or owns the most government satellites?

Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) owns/operates the most number of government satellites (42 - 8.6% of the satellites in this dataset).

  Which country operates or owns the most government satellites?

China owns/operates the most number of government satellites (169 - 34.5% of the satellites in this dataset).

  Which rocket has delivered the most government satellites to space?

The rocket that has delivered the most government satellites to space is Long March 2D which has delivered 49 satellites (10.0%).

  Which launch site has launched the most government satellites to space?

The launch site that has delivered the most government satellites to space is Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center which has launched 73 government satellites (14.9%).

  What is the most common type of satellite orbit?

Sun-Synchronous orbit is the most common type of orbit (280 satellites - 57.1%).

  Apogee, Perigee & Period

The perigees (point of the orbit closest to the Earth's center of mass) of the satellites range from 170km to 62,200km, with the average perigee being 8,347.2km from the Earth, while the apogees (point of the orbit farthest from the Earth's center of mass) of the satellites range from 317km to 330,000km, with the average apogee being 12,821.7km from the Earth. The longest period a satellite takes to orbit around the Earth is 11,520 minutes.

  Satellite Mass

The launch masses (include fuel) of the satellites range from 1kg to 22,500kg, while the dry masses (excluding fuel) of the satellites range from 15kg to 3,414kg.


Highlights on some of the government satellites:

Saudisat-5A.

Long March-2D launches SaudiSat 5A, SaudiSat 5B and CubeSats

  Heaviest satellite launched by Saudi Arabia into space at 425 kg

Saudisat-5A is a government satellite operated by Space Research Institute, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (Saudi Arabia) for the purpose of earth observation (Optical Imaging).

Constructed by King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (Saudi Arabia), it was launched into space on 7 December 2018 using Long March 2D as the launch vehicle from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Saudisat-5A orbits around the Earth as a sun-synchronous LEO satellite.

With a launch mass of 425kg, Saudisat-5A is designed to operate in space for a lifetime of 5 years. It orbits around the Earth with the COSPAR ID 2018-102A and NORAD ID 43831.

Taking 95 minutes to orbit the Earth, the satellite's perigee, which is the point of the orbit closest to the Earth's center of mass, is 533km while its apogee, which is the point of the orbit farthest from the Earth's center of mass, is 551km. The eccentricity of the orbit is 1.30E-03 and it orbits at an inclination of 98 degrees to the equatorial plane of the Earth.

 

 Compare Saudisat-5A with Icesat-2 from USA.

 Compare Saudisat-5A with Starlink-1817 from USA.


Shijian 20.

Shijian-20 - the first DFH-5 satellite

  Second heaviest GEO satellite launched into space at 7,600 kg

Designed for technology development, Shijian 20 is a government satellite operated by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) (China).

Constructed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. (CASC) (China), it was launched into space using Long March 5 as the launch vehicle from Wenchang Satellite Launch Center on 27 December 2019. Shijian 20 orbits around the Earth as a sun-synchronous GEO satellite.

With a launch mass of 7,600kg, Shijian 20 is designed to operate in space for a lifetime of 20 years. It orbits around the Earth with the COSPAR ID 2019-097A and NORAD ID 44910.

With an orbital eccentricity of 8.66E-04, the satellite's perigee, which is the point of the orbit closest to the Earth's center of mass, is 35,751km while its apogee, which is the point of the orbit farthest from the Earth's center of mass, is 35,824km. It takes 1,436 minutes to orbit the Earth along the longitude of 125 degrees.

 

 Compare Shijian 20 with USA 237 from USA.

 Compare Shijian 20 with Beidou 2-17 from China.


Tianhe.

Tianhe-1 - the core module of China Space Station

  Heaviest satellite launched into space at 22,500 kg

Designed for space science, Tianhe is a government satellite operated by China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO) (China).

Constructed by Chinese Academy of Space Technology (CAST) (China), it was launched into space using Long March 5B as the launch vehicle from Wenchang Space Center on 29 April 2021. Tianhe orbits around the Earth as a non-polar inclined LEO satellite.

Designated with COSPAR ID 2021-035A and NORAD ID 48275, Tianhe is designed to operate in space for a lifetime of 15 years. It has a launch mass of 22,500 kg.

Taking 92 minutes to orbit the Earth, the satellite's perigee, which is the point of the orbit closest to the Earth's center of mass, is 170km while its apogee, which is the point of the orbit farthest from the Earth's center of mass, is 381km. The eccentricity of the orbit is 1.59E-02 and it orbits at an inclination of 41 degrees to the equatorial plane of the Earth.

 

 Compare Tianhe with ORBCOMM FM-4 from USA.

 Compare Tianhe with Starlink-2367 from USA.


Sentinel 3A.

Meet the Satellite: Sentinel-3

  Heaviest satellite launched by EUMETSAT (European Organization For The Exploitation Of Meteorological Satellites) into space at 2,300 kg

Operated by EUMETSAT (European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites) of ESA, Sentinel 3A is a government satellite launched for the purpose of earth observation (Earth Science).

Constructed by Thales Alenia Space (France), it was launched into space using Rokot as the launch vehicle from Plesetsk Cosmodrome on 16 February 2016. Sentinel 3A orbits around the Earth as a sun-synchronous LEO satellite.

With a launch mass of 2,300kg and a dry mass of 2,146kg, Sentinel 3A is designed to operate in space for a lifetime of 7 years. It orbits around the Earth with the COSPAR ID 2016-011A and NORAD ID 41335.

Taking 101 minutes to orbit the Earth, the satellite's perigee, which is the point of the orbit closest to the Earth's center of mass, is 802km while its apogee, which is the point of the orbit farthest from the Earth's center of mass, is 804km. The eccentricity of the orbit is 1.39E-04 and it orbits at an inclination of 99 degrees to the equatorial plane of the Earth.

 

 Compare Sentinel 3A with CiRiS from USA.

 Compare Sentinel 3A with Starlink-2076 from USA.


TESS.

NASA’s New Planet Hunter: TESS

Designed for space science, TESS is a government satellite operated by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (USA).

Constructed by NASA/MIT (USA), it was launched into space on 18 April 2018 using Falcon 9 as the launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral. TESS orbits around the Earth as a Elliptical satellite.

With a launch mass of 362kg, TESS is designed to operate in space for a lifetime of 20 years. It orbits around the Earth with the COSPAR ID 2018-038A and NORAD ID 43435.

With an orbital eccentricity of 9.53E-01, the satellite's perigee, which is the point of the orbit closest to the Earth's center of mass, is 258km while its apogee, which is the point of the orbit farthest from the Earth's center of mass, is 268,488km. It takes 8,758 minutes to orbit the Earth at an inclination of 30 degrees to the equatorial plane of the Earth.

 

 Compare TESS with THEMIS D from Multinational.

 Compare TESS with Meridian-9 from Russia.


Proba 5.

ESA's Proba-V satellite becomes first to pickup aircraft tracking signals

Designed for earth observation (Earth Science), Proba 5 is a government satellite operated by European Space Agency (ESA) (ESA).

Constructed by QinetiQ Space Belgium (Belgium), it was launched into space using Vega as the launch vehicle from Guiana Space Center on 7 May 2013. Proba 5 orbits around the Earth as a sun-synchronous LEO satellite.

Designed with an operational lifetime of 3 years, Proba 5 has a launch mass of 140 kg and navigates with the COSPAR ID 2013-021A and NORAD ID 39159.

Taking 101 minutes to orbit the Earth, the satellite's perigee, which is the point of the orbit closest to the Earth's center of mass, is 813km while its apogee, which is the point of the orbit farthest from the Earth's center of mass, is 820km. The eccentricity of the orbit is 4.87E-04 and it orbits at an inclination of 99 degrees to the equatorial plane of the Earth.

 

 Compare Proba 5 with Starlink-2541 from USA.

 Compare Proba 5 with Lemur 2F87 from USA.


COSMIC 2-1.

FORMOSAT-7/COSMIC-2 Satellite System

  Heaviest satellite launched by Taiwan/USA into space at 280 kg

Operated by Taiwan's National Space Organization and National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Admistration (NOAA) of Taiwan/USA, COSMIC 2-1 is a government satellite launched for the purpose of earth observation (Meteorology).

Constructed by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (UK), it was launched into space using Falcon Heavy as the launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral on 25 June 2019. COSMIC 2-1 orbits around the Earth as a non-polar inclined LEO satellite.

Designated with COSPAR ID 2019-036L and NORAD ID 44349, COSMIC 2-1 is designed to operate in space for a lifetime of 5 years. It has a launch mass of 280 kg.

With an orbital eccentricity of 8.47E-04, the satellite's perigee, which is the point of the orbit closest to the Earth's center of mass, is 709km while its apogee, which is the point of the orbit farthest from the Earth's center of mass, is 721km. It takes 99 minutes to orbit the Earth at an inclination of 24 degrees to the equatorial plane of the Earth.

 

 Compare COSMIC 2-1 with Proba 5 from ESA.

 Compare COSMIC 2-1 with STPSat-4 from USA.


SMAP.

SMAP Launch and Deployment Sequence

Operated by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of USA, SMAP is a government satellite launched for the purpose of earth observation (Earth Science).

Constructed by Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA) (USA), it was launched into space on 31 January 2015 using Delta 2 as the launch vehicle from Vandenberg AFB. SMAP orbits around the Earth as a sun-synchronous LEO satellite.

SMAP is designed to operate in space for a lifetime of 3 years. It orbits around the Earth with the COSPAR ID 2015-003A and NORAD ID 40376.

With an orbital eccentricity of 1.85E-03, the satellite's perigee, which is the point of the orbit closest to the Earth's center of mass, is 660km while its apogee, which is the point of the orbit farthest from the Earth's center of mass, is 686km. It takes 98 minutes to orbit the Earth at an inclination of 98 degrees to the equatorial plane of the Earth.

 

 Compare SMAP with RCM-3 from Canada.

 Compare SMAP with Starlink-2153 from USA.


IGS Optical 6.

IGS-Optical 6

  Heaviest satellite launched by Cabinet Satellite Intelligence Center (CSIC) into space at 1,600 kg

Designed for earth observation (Optical Imaging), IGS Optical 6 is a government satellite operated by Cabinet Satellite Intelligence Center (CSIC) (Japan).

Constructed by Mitsubishi Electric (Japan), it was launched into space on 26 February 2018 using H2A as the launch vehicle from Tanegashima Space Center. IGS Optical 6 orbits around the Earth as a sun-synchronous LEO satellite.

IGS Optical 6 has a launch mass of 1,600 kg and is expected to have a operational lifetime of 5 years. It navigates with the COSPAR ID 2018-021A and NORAD ID 43223.

Taking 95 minutes to orbit the Earth, the satellite's perigee, which is the point of the orbit closest to the Earth's center of mass, is 485km while its apogee, which is the point of the orbit farthest from the Earth's center of mass, is 499km. The eccentricity of the orbit is 1.02E-03 and it orbits at an inclination of 97 degrees to the equatorial plane of the Earth.

 

 Compare IGS Optical 6 with Starlink-1550 from USA.

 Compare IGS Optical 6 with Starlink-2244 from USA.


Get more insights from these satellite datasets

  Full datasets:  All satellites by launch date   |   The Heaviest Satellites That Are Launched to Space

  By Use Type:  Civil-use satellites   |   Commercial satellites   |   Government satellites   |   Military satellites

  By Country:  USA   |   UK   |   France   |   Germany   |   Japan   |   China   |   Russia   |   Australia   |   Canada

  By Orbit Class/Type:  LEO satellites   |   MEO satellites   |   GEO satellites   |   Elliptical orbit   |   Polar orbit   |   Equatorial orbit   |   Non-polar inclined orbit   |   Sun-synchronous orbit   |   Molniya orbit

  By Operators:  SpaceX   |   EUTELSAT   |   SES   |   European Space Agency (ESA)   |   Planet Labs   |   Iridium   |   Spire Global   |   OneWeb   |   Swarm Technologies   |   NASA - Dataset of Satellites Launched (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)   |   Canadian Space Agency (CSA) - Dataset of Satellites Launched

  By Launch Vehicle:  Falcon 9   |   Ariane 5   |   Ariane 5 ECA   |   Delta 2   |   Dnepr   |   Electron   |   Falcon Heavy   |   Long March 2C   |   Long March 2D   |   Long March 3B   |   Pegasus   |   Proton   |   Proton M   |   PSLV   |   Rokot   |   Soyuz   |   Soyuz-2.1b   |   Vega

  By Launch Vehicle:  Cape Canaveral   |   Baikonur Cosmodrome   |   Guiana Space Center   |   International Space Station   |   Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center   |   Plesetsk Cosmodrome   |   Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1   |   Satish Dhawan Space Centre   |   Taiyuan Launch Center   |   Vandenberg AFB   |   Xichang Satellite Launch Center   |   Boeing Satellite Systems   |   Airbus Defense and Space   |   EADS Astrium   |   Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems   |   Space Systems/Loral   |   Surrey Satellite Technology   |   Technical University Berlin   |   Thales Alenia Space


  Interactive Chart

Chart 1: Major Operators
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Chart 2: Satellites by Purpose
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Chart 3: Satellites by Country
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  Attributions

No attribution sources specified.
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