New Delhi: The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on Sunday launched Brazil’s first indigenously made satellite, Amazonia-1, onboard its old warhorse PSLV from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. It is also ISRO's first space mission of 2021.
The rocket PSLV C-51 blasted off from the first launch pad at Sriharikota at around 10:24 am, marking the 53rd successful spaceflight of PSLV. It was also the first dedicated commercial mission of the New Space India Ltd (NSIL), a newly formed public sector undertaking under the Department of Space.
Amazonia-1 is the first optical earth observation satellite which has been designed, integrated, tested and operated by National Institute for Space Research (INPE), Brazil. The satellite weighing 637 kg will provide remote sensing data to users for monitoring deforestation in the Amazon region and analyse the diversified agriculture across the Brazilian territory over the next four years. The satellite will be injected into the designated orbit within 18 minutes of the launch.
Apart from the primary payload- Amazonia-1, the 44.4 metres tall rocket also carried 18 other co-passenger satellites including SDSAT and UNITYsat.
Named after acclaimed rocket scientist, SDSAT is a nano-satellite built by Space Kidz India. It is intended to study the radiation levels and demonstrate long range communication technologies.
While UNITYsat is a combination of three satellites designed and built jointly by Jeppiar Institute of Technology, Sriperumbudur (JITsat), G H Raisoni College of Engineering, Nagpur and Shri Shakti Institute of Engineering and technology, Coimbatore. The satellite is intended to provide radio relay services. There is another Indian satellite onboard named SindhuNetra for technology demonstration.
Apart from that, the mission carried US satellite - SAI-1 Nanoconnect-2 for tech demonstration and 12 other satellites from US - SpaceBEEs for two way satellite communications and data relay. The last co-passenger satellite will get separated from the rocket two hours after the take off, ISRO stated.
India has so far sent 342 foreign satellites into space from as many as 34 countries.
With this launch, ISRO has kickstarted its commercial operations for this year, which are being executed by NSIL which was set up in March 2019 to commercially exploit the research and development work of ISRO centres and constituent units of DOS. It also looks into manufacturing of small satellite launch vehicle (SSLV) in collaboration with the private sector, production of PSLVs through Indian Industry, marketing of space based products and services, including launch and application and transfer of technology developed by ISRO centres and constituent units of DOS.