ISRO Launches Brazil’s Amazonia-1 and 18 other Satellites
By- Ashwathy Nair
- The first committed mission of NewSpace India Limited, ISRO’s commercial arm.
- The mission was supported by Spaceflight Inc. on a commercial basis.
- A proud moment for India and ISRO to introduce the first satellite designed, integrated & operated by Brazil.
On Sunday, the India Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched 19 satellites into space with textbook precision in its first launch of the year from Brazil, the USA and India by entering the new-age of space commerce.
This was the first dedicated mission of the Indian Space Research Organisation’s commercial arm (NSIL) NewSpace India Limited, which is a public sector unit that is set up under the department of space in 2019. The mission of Sunday was under a commercial arrangement with Spaceflight Inc, which is satellite rideshare and mission management provider based in Seattle.
The satellites were launched into orbit by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C51) rocket, which took off from Sriharikota’s spaceport. The flight was one of the PSLV’s longest, durable for one hour, 55 minutes, and seven seconds.
The rocket lifted off from the first launch-pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) at 10.24 a.m., carrying Brazil’s 637-kg Amazonia-1 satellite, a technology demonstrator satellite from the Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), 13 from the United States, and four from India.
The rocket injected Amazonia-1 into its intended orbit seventeen minutes after launch, and the other satellites were released into orbit one hour and 38 minutes later.
The Satish Dhawan Sat (SDSAT) from Space Kidz India was one of them, with an engraved portrait of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a digital copy of the Bhagavad Gita.
The chairman of ISRO Dr K. Sivan by congratulating his team for the precise launch of the rocket and orbiting the satellites stated that “it is an extremely proud and honoured moment for India & ISRO to launch the first satellite designed, integrated and operated by Brazil.”
“Amazonia-1 is an important mission for Brazil, and it also marks the beginning of a new era for satellite development in the country,” said Brazilian science and technology minister Marcos Cesar Pontes. He highlighted the importance of the India-Brazil relationship and confirmed that they were looking forward to deepening their relations with India.
The chairman and managing director of NSIL, Narayanan G acknowledged INPE Brazil for selecting ISRO and NSIL’s capabilities, as well as Spaceflight Inc. in the United States, for facilitating this mission.
Amazonia-1 is a Brazilian National Institute for Space Research optical earth observation satellite (INPE). It will provide remote sensing information to determine deforestation in the Amazon and analyze Brazil’s diverse agriculture.
Four from IN-SPACe satellites and 14 from NSIL satellites — a commercial satellite from India and 13 from the United States — were among the co-passenger satellites. Three out of four IN-SPACe’s satellites were UNITYsats, which were designed and built as contractual cooperation by Jeppiaar Institute of Technology, Sriperumbudur, G.H. Raisoni College of Engineering, Nagpur, and Coimbatore’s Sri Shakti Institute of Engineering and Technology.
The efforts of the team in building the satellites were appreciated by Dr Sivan, he stated that “These satellites were the result of the Indian government’s recent space reforms, which saw ISRO encourage and manage the teams. It’s absolute that this mission will enable other academic institutions and businesses to establish satellites.”