Earth Observation satellites

Earth Observation satellites for UPSC IAS
  • Earth observation satellites are satellites equipped with remote sensing technology.
  • Earth observation is the gathering of information about Earth’s physical, chemical and biological systems.
  • Many earth observation satellites have been employed on sun-synchronous orbit.
  • The first EOS or remote sensing satellite was Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite sent to Earth’s orbit by the Soviet Union in 1957.
    • It was used to study the topmost layer of Earth’s atmosphere, the ionosphere.
  • Most EOS operate at about 500 to 600 kilometres from the surface of the Earth.

Applications of Earth Observation satellites

  • These satellites can be used for various purposes, including environmental monitoring, cartography, navigation and more.
  • The military of different countries also uses the Earth observation satellite for spying and communication.
  • The most common example of applications of EOS is the images of Earth, or the view available in a popular Earth discovery application called Google Earth.

Latest news

  • 20 April 2023:
    • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch Singapore’s TeLEOS-2 satellite, an earth observation satellite.
    • The launch will be carried out by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).


  1. ISRO
  2. Indian Express

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