Brazilian, Indian startup satellite in ISRO's first mission in 2021
(Sourced from PTI)
In its first mission in 2021, India's space agency ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) plans to launch on February 28 Brazilian satellite Amazonia-1 and three Indian payloads, including one built by a home-grown start-up. The satellites are slated to be launched onboard the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C-51 at 10:28 am from the Sriharikota spaceport, over 100 kilometers from Chennai.
Secretary in the Department of Space and Chairman of Bengaluru-headquartered ISRO K Sivan confirmed the PSLV-C51 schedule to PTI on Friday. Amazonia-1, reportedly the first earth observation satellite entirely developed by Brazil, is the primary payload. Anand, Satish Dhawan Satellite, and UNITYsat will be the co-passengers. Anand has been built by an Indian 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), GH Raisoni College of Engineering, Nagpur (GHRCEsat), and Sri Shakthi Institute of Engineering and Technology, Coimbatore (Sri Shakthi Sat). "PSLV-C51 marks the launch of the country's first commercial private remote-sensing satellite (Anand) on an ISRO PSLV rocket," an ISRO official said.
Sivan had earlier described the mission as "special for the entire country" and the beginning of a "new era of space reforms." Pixxel CEO, Awais Ahmed, elated with the fact that India's first commercial private satellite will launch on an Indian rocket said it's not only a proud moment for them as an organization but also as citizens to work with the nation's capabilities.
Bengaluru-based Pixxel, which built Anand, said it plans to build a constellation of 30 satellites by 2023. The company inaugurated its new facility in Bengaluru last month.
Meanwhile, according to Space Kidz India, the Satish Dhawan satellite (SD SAT), named after former ISRO chairman Satish Dhawan, aims 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.