ISRO is going to launch 82 satellites in one go in January. The feat will be accomplished by its tested workhorse 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. The US has also placed 29 satellites with its Minotaur-1 rocket on November 19, 2013. ISRO has also launched multiple satellites in a single launch when. On June 22 this year, it launched 20 satellites. It was soon to be eclipsed by an even bigger achievement when in September ISRO was able to establish its Mars Orbiter in an orbit around the red planet.
It will once again be the trusted ISRO workhorse PSLV, which will be used to launch 80+ satellites into varying orbits above the 580 km polar sun-synchronous orbit in a span of 20 to 25 minutes. ISRO is also reported to be finalizing its next mission to Mars, MOM-2 which is scheduled to launch in 2020.
The 80+ satellites are from a wide array of nations including, Israel, Kazakhstan, Switzerland, the US and weigh 500 Kgs. The other payloads include three Indian satellites, the Cartosat-2 series, weighing 730 kg and two INS-1A and INS-1B satellites weighing 30 kg each.
ISRO is expected to launch five communication satellites as well as a number of other satellites including earth observation satellites. 2017 will be crucial for ISRO because it plans to test its GSLV Mark III rockets, which are intended to carry 3 ton and above payloads to the Geo Transfer orbit. If ISRO is able to successfully bridge the technology, it can jump into the attractive space hardware launch market. Already the market is getting competitive with the advent of private players like Indus and SpaceX. With the cost of launch per kg space hardware being the lowest in the world, ISRO can rule the roost.