India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV – F08) carrying GSAT – 6A communication satellite blasts off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, India, March 29, 2018. Photo: Reuters/P. Ravikumar/File photo
Bengaluru: In its first space mission in 2021, India’s space agency ISRO planned to launch Brazilian satellite Amazonia – 1 and 20 other payloads, including one built by a home – grown start – up, on February 28.
The launch from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota, is tentatively scheduled at 10.23 am, subject to weather conditions, Bengaluru – headquartered Indian Space Research Organisation said on Friday.
PSLV – C51/Amazonia – 1 is the first dedicated commercial mission of NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), a Government of India company under Department of Space.
NSIL is undertaking this mission under a commercial arrangement with Spaceflight Inc.USA.
Amazonia-1 is the optical earth observation satellite of National Institute for Space Research (INPE).
This satellite would further strengthen the existing structure by providing remote sensing data to users for monitoring deforestation in the Amazon region and analysis of diversified agriculture across the Brazilian territory, ISRO said.
The 20 co-passenger satellites include one from ISRO (INS – 2TD), ‘Anand’, ‘Satish Dhawan’ satellite and ‘UNITYsat’.
Amazonia – 1 is the primary payload on board ISRO’s PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) rocket.
‘Anand’ is built by Indian space startup, Pixxel, and ‘Satish Dhawan Satellite’ by Chennai-based Space Kidz India.
UNITYsat is a combination of three satellites designed and built as a joint development by Jeppiaar Institute of Technology, Sriperumpudur (JITsat), G.H.Raisoni College of Engineering, Nagpur (GHRCEsat) and Sri Shakthi Institute of Engineering and Technology, Coimbatore (Sri Shakthi Sat).
“PSLV – C51 marks the launch the country’s first commercial private remote-sensing satellite (Anand) on an ISRO PSLV rocket,” an ISRO official said.
ISRO Chairman K Sivan had earlier described the upcoming mission as “special for us, special for the entire country” and beginning of “new era of space (sector) reforms”.
Pixxel CEO, Awais Ahmed had said: “We are elated with the fact that Indias first commercial private satellite will now launch on an Indian rocket. This is not only a proud moment for us as an organisation but also as citizens to work with our nations capabilities.”
Bengaluru – based Pixxel has said it plans to build a constellation of 30 satellites by 2023.
The company inaugurated it’s new facility here last month.
According to Space Kidz India, Satish Dhawan satellite (SD SAT), named after former ISRO Chairman Satish Dhawan, aimed to study space radiation and Magnetosphere and demonstrate the indigenously designed and developed nanosatellite components.
“The satellite also tests the capabilities of LoRa technology in Space which could be helpful for many applications in the future in short and M2M communication,” it said.