Dataset of Sun-Synchronous Orbit Satellites in Space
This dataset contains 1218 entries.

  Overview

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

Most Sun-Synchronous satellites are launched for commercial use (57.7%) and for the purpose of earth observation (56.4%).


  Data Table

Preparing data

  More..

Insights from the Sun-Synchronous satellite dataset

  Which year saw the most Sun-Synchronous satellites launched?

That year is 2021, which saw 296 Sun-Synchronous satellites launched.

  Who operates or owns the most Sun-Synchronous satellites?

Planet Labs, Inc. owns/operates the most number of Sun-Synchronous satellites (182 - 14.9% of the satellites in this dataset).

  Which country operates or owns the most Sun-Synchronous satellites?

USA owns/operates the most number of Sun-Synchronous satellites (523 - 42.9% of the satellites in this dataset).

  Which rocket has delivered the most Sun-Synchronous satellites to space?

The rocket that has delivered the most Sun-Synchronous satellites to space is Falcon 9 which has delivered 256 satellites (21.0%).

  Which launch site has launched the most Sun-Synchronous satellites to space?

The launch site that has delivered the most Sun-Synchronous satellites to space is Cape Canaveral which has launched 226 Sun-Synchronous satellites (18.6%).

  Apogee, Perigee & Period

The perigees (point of the orbit closest to the Earth's center of mass) of the satellites range from 334km to 35,751km, with the average perigee being 587.9km from the Earth, while the apogees (point of the orbit farthest from the Earth's center of mass) of the satellites range from 347km to 35,824km, with the average apogee being 608.2km from the Earth. The longest period a satellite takes to orbit around the Earth is 1,436 minutes.

  Satellite Mass

The launch masses (include fuel) of the satellites range from 1kg to 20,000kg, while the dry masses (excluding fuel) of the satellites range from 1kg to 3,750kg.


Highlights on some of the government satellites:

RAAF M2 Pathfinder.

M2 CubeSat Separation and Formation Flying

RAAF M2 Pathfinder is a civil and military satellite operated by University of New South Wales and Department of Defence (Australia) for the purpose of technology development.

Delivered via Electron (launch vehicle) from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1, it was launched into space on 13 June 2020 and orbits the Earth as a sun-synchronous LEO satellite. RAAF M2 Pathfinder was constructed by University of New South Wales (Australia).

RAAF M2 Pathfinder has a launch mass of 9 kg and orbits around the Earth with the COSPAR ID 2020-037E and NORAD ID 45727.

Taking 97 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 586km while its apogee, which is the point of the orbit farthest from the Earth's center of mass, is 602km. The eccentricity of the orbit is 1.15E-03 and it orbits at an inclination of 98 degrees to the equatorial plane of the Earth.

 

 Compare RAAF M2 Pathfinder with Starlink-2709 from USA.

 Compare RAAF M2 Pathfinder with ORBCOMM FM-20 from USA.


SALSAT.

Spectrum Analysis from the Low Earth Orbit – The SALSAT (Spectrum AnaLysis SATellite) Missio

  Third heaviest satellite launched by Technical University Berlin into space at 12 kg

Operated by Technical University Berlin of Germany, SALSAT is a civil satellite launched for the purpose of space science.

Constructed by Technical University Berlin (Germany), it was launched into space on 28 September 2020 using Soyuz-2.1b as the launch vehicle from Plesetsk Cosmodrome. SALSAT orbits around the Earth as a sun-synchronous LEO satellite.

SALSAT has a launch mass of 12 kg and orbits around the Earth with the COSPAR ID 2020-068K and NORAD ID 46495.

Taking 96 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 546km while its apogee, which is the point of the orbit farthest from the Earth's center of mass, is 568km. The eccentricity of the orbit is 1.59E-03 and it orbits at an inclination of 98 degrees to the equatorial plane of the Earth.

 

 Compare SALSAT with Cryosat-2 from ESA.

 Compare SALSAT with Aeolus from ESA.


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.


Starlink-3003.

Watch SpaceX deploy Starlink satellites in glorious view from space

  Heaviest satellite launched by SpaceX into space at 260 kg

Starlink-3003 is a commercial satellite operated by SpaceX (USA) for the purpose of communications.

A sun-synchronous LEO satellite, it was launched into space using Falcon 9 as the launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral on 30 May 2021. Starlink-3003 was constructed by SpaceX (USA).

With a launch mass of 260kg, Starlink-3003 is designed to operate in space for a lifetime of 4 years. It orbits around the Earth with the COSPAR ID 2021-059A and NORAD ID 48879.

With an orbital eccentricity of 1.52E-03, the satellite's perigee, which is the point of the orbit closest to the Earth's center of mass, is 515km while its apogee, which is the point of the orbit farthest from the Earth's center of mass, is 536km. It takes 95 minutes to orbit the Earth at an inclination of 98 degrees to the equatorial plane of the Earth.

 

 Compare Starlink-3003 with Starlink-1131 from USA.

 Compare Starlink-3003 with ORBCOMM FM-20 from USA.


Pleiades Neo 3.

Introducing the Pléiades Neo satellites constellation

Operated by Airbus Defense and Space of France, Pleiades Neo 3 is a commercial satellite launched for the purpose of earth observation (Optical Imaging).

Constructed by Airbus Defense and Space (France), it was launched into space using Vega as the launch vehicle from Guiana Space Center on 29 April 2021. Pleiades Neo 3 orbits around the Earth as a sun-synchronous LEO satellite.

Designated with COSPAR ID 2021-034A and NORAD ID 48268, Pleiades Neo 3 is designed to operate in space for a lifetime of 10 years. It has a launch mass of 920 kg.

Taking 97 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 623km while its apogee, which is the point of the orbit farthest from the Earth's center of mass, is 626km. The eccentricity of the orbit is 2.14E-04 and it orbits at an inclination of 98 degrees to the equatorial plane of the Earth.

 

 Compare Pleiades Neo 3 with Starlink-2372 from USA.

 Compare Pleiades Neo 3 with Iridium Next 163 from USA.


Hodoyoshi-3.

Sun-rising (17th Oct.2014), Hodoyoshi-3 Wide Angle Camera

Designed for technology development, Hodoyoshi-3 is a government satellite operated by University of Tokyo and NESTRA (Japan).

Delivered via Dnepr (launch vehicle) from Dombarovsky Air Base, it was launched into space on 19 June 2014 and orbits the Earth as a sun-synchronous LEO satellite. Hodoyoshi-3 was constructed by University of Tokyo (Japan).

Hodoyoshi-3 has a launch mass of 60 kg and navigates with the COSPAR ID 2014-033F and NORAD ID 40015.

With an orbital eccentricity of 3.78E-03, the satellite's perigee, which is the point of the orbit closest to the Earth's center of mass, is 613km while its apogee, which is the point of the orbit farthest from the Earth's center of mass, is 666km. It takes 98 minutes to orbit the Earth.

With generated usable power of 50 watts, Hodoyoshi-3 orbits at an inclination of 98 degrees to the equatorial plane of the Earth.

 

 Compare Hodoyoshi-3 with Starlink-1708 from USA.

 Compare Hodoyoshi-3 with SpaceBEE-45 from USA.


Beijing-3.

China launches Long March 2D rocket carrying Beijing-3 and three other satellites

A commercial satellite, Beijing-3 is operated by 21st Century Aerospace Technology (21AT) of China for the purpose of earth observation (Optical Imaging).

Delivered via Long March 2D (launch vehicle) from Taiyuan Launch Center, it was launched into space on 11 June 2021 and orbits the Earth as a sun-synchronous LEO satellite. Beijing-3 was constructed by Chinese Academy of Space Technology (CASC) (China).

Beijing-3 orbits around the Earth with the COSPAR ID 2021-050A and NORAD ID 48840.

With an orbital eccentricity of 1.09E-03, the satellite's perigee, which is the point of the orbit closest to the Earth's center of mass, is 487km while its apogee, which is the point of the orbit farthest from the Earth's center of mass, is 502km. It takes 95 minutes to orbit the Earth at an inclination of 98 degrees to the equatorial plane of the Earth.

 

 Compare Beijing-3 with IRIS from USA.

 Compare Beijing-3 with Cryosat-2 from ESA.


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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