ISRO launches Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C51) with Brazil’s Amazonia-1 as a primary satellite from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Andhra Pradesh carrying Amazonia-1, 18 co-passenger satellites on board.
It is carrying the Bhagavad Gita in the form of an SD card, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s picture on the top panel. The names of ISRO chairperson Dr. K Sivan and scientific secretary Dr. R Umamaheswaran have been carved on the bottom panel.
ISRO said, “The countdown for the lift of an Indian rocket with the country’s fourth navigation satellite as the sole passenger began at 5.49 am today.” The rocket is expected to blast off at 5.19 pm on March 28 to put into orbit the 1,425 kg IRNSS-1D satellite.
ISRO says, “Amazonia1 successfully separated from fourth stage of #PSLVC51 and injected into orbit.”
There is a video showing the launch. Watch ISRO PSLVC51 liftoff carrying #Amazonia1 and 18 Co-passenger satellites from the first launch pad at SDSC
— Space Curiosity (@spacecuriosity_) February 28, 2021
This is for the first time that an Indian rocket will launch 637-kg Amazonia-1 of Brazil as a primary satellite from the launch pad of the Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh’s Nellore district, about 100 km from Chennai.
The satellite is called Satish Dhawan Satellite or SD Sat after the founding father of the Indian Space program Professor Sathish Dhawan. This satellite will send the names of 25,000 individuals to space.
The satellite carries 18 co-passenger payloads (four from ISRO’s Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre, three UNITYsats from a consortium of 3 Indian academic institutes and the SD SAT from SKI) and 14 from NSIL. This is developed by Chennai-based SpaceKidz India. It carries three payloads — one to study space radiation, one to study the magnetosphere, and another that will demonstrate a low-power wide-area communication network.
PSLV-C51/Amazonia-1 is also the first dedicated commercial mission of NSIL, going with a commercial arrangement with Seattle, US-based satellite rideshare and mission management provider, Spaceflight Inc. Quoted by PTI, Chairman and Managing Director of NSIL, G Narayanan said, “We are eagerly looking forward to the launch. We are very proud to launch the first Brazilian-built satellite.”
ISRO also stated, “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.”
India has so far launched three regional navigational satellites as part of a constellation of seven satellites to provide accurate position information service to users across the country and the region, extending up to an area of 1,500 km.
India’s first satellite was launched on 19 April 1975, Aryabhata, named after an ancient Indian mathematician (5th century AD).
Since 1999, India has launched 319 foreign satellites. Presently, India has launched 328 satellites for 34 different countries as of 7 November 2020. As of 2019, the Indian Space Research Organization, India’s government space agency, is the only launch-capable agency in India and launches all research and commercial projects.
India decided to go to space when Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) was set up by the Government of India in 1961.
Rohini became the first satellite to be placed in orbit by an Indian-made launch vehicle, SLV-3. It was successfully launched onboard SLV-3 from SHAR Centre on July 18, 1980.
The Indian Space Programme established in 1961 by the first Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and the Indian Space Research Organisation set up under Smt. Indira Gandhi, third Prime Minister of India, his daughter.