FP StaffMar 01, 2021 09:32:27 IST
In the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) first mission of the year, the country’s polar rocket on Sunday successfully launched Brazilian satellite Amazonia-1 and 18 other satellites from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota.
The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C51 lifted off at around 10.24 am from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre and injected into orbit primary payload Amazonia-1 about 17 minutes later.
Primary satellite #Amazonia1 successfully separated from #PSLVC51. Join us again at 1210 hrs IST for witnessing the separation of co-passenger satellites
ISRO Website : https://t.co/bwLKodEjCL
— ISRO (@isro) February 28, 2021
After a gap of over one-and-half hours, the co-passenger satellites, including one from Chennai- based Space Kidz India (SKI), which is engraved with a picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, were launched one after another in the space of ten minutes in a textbook launch.
SKI’s Satish Dhawan Satellite (SD-SAT) also carried the Bhagavad Gita in a Secured Digital card format. According to SKI, the picture of Modi has been engraved on the top panel of the spacecraft to show solidarity and gratitude for his Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative and space sector privatisation.
A beaming ISRO Chairman K Sivan announced that the mission was successful and all 19 satellites were launched in precise orbits.
“Today is a very great day for the entire ISRO team and the PSLV-C51 is a special mission for India. Let me congratulate and compliment the team ISRO for achieving the precise injection of AMAZONIA-1 and 18 other satellites,” PTI quotes him as saying.
PSLV-C51 is the first dedicated commercial mission of New Space India Limited (NSIL), ISRO’s commercial arm, and the launch was watched among others by Brazilian government officials at the mission control centre in Sriharikota, over 100 kms from Chennai.
The 18 co-passenger satellites placed in the orbit include four from ISRO’s Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (three UNITY Sats from consortium of three Indian academic institutes and the SD-SAT from SKI) and 14 from NSIL.
The 637-kg Amazonia-1, which became the first Brazilian satellite to be launched from India, is an optical earth observation satellite of National Institute for Space Research (INPE) and is intended for providing remote sensing data to users for monitoring deforestation in the Amazon region and analysis of diversified agriculture across the Brazilian territory.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the space agency on the success of the first dedicated commercial launch of PSLV-C51/Amazonia-1 Mission, saying it ushers in a new era of space reforms in the country. He added that 18 co-passengers included four small satellites that showcase dynamism and innovation of our youth.
Congratulations to NSIL and @isro on the success of the 1st dedicated commercial launch of PSLV-C51/Amazonia-1 Mission. This ushers in a new era of Space reforms in the country. 18 co-passengers included four small satellites that showcase dynamism and innovation of our youth. pic.twitter.com/BbWYGLsyvo
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 28, 2021
The prime minister also congratulated Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro on the successful launch of Brazil’s Amazonia-1 satellite by PSLV-C51, and said this is a historic moment in space cooperation between the two countries.
Congratulations President @jairbolsonaro on the successful launch of Brazil’s Amazonia-1 satellite by PSLV-C51. This is a historic moment in our space cooperation and my felicitations to the scientists of Brazil. @isro
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 28, 2021
According to a press release, Marcos Cesar Pontes, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Brazil also congratulated the ISRO team, saying “Amazonia-1 is an important mission for Brazil which also marks beginning of a new era for satellite development in the country.”
Union ministers Hardeep Singh Puri, Prakash Javadekar, among others, congratulated the space agency.
New era of space reforms takes off in India.
Congratulations to NSIL & @isro on the successful launch of the1st dedicated commercial PSLV-C51/Amazonia-1 Mission with 18 payloads including four small satellites. pic.twitter.com/0D77W0rB6p
— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) February 28, 2021
Many congratulations to NSIL and @isro on the success of the 1st dedicated commercial launch of PSLV-C51/Amazonia-1 Mission.
A moment of pride indeed as the country ushers in a new era of space reforms under the able leadership of PM Shri @narendramodi pic.twitter.com/zOHH0x9c1k
— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) February 28, 2021
Earlier, at the end of the 25.5 hour countdown, the four-stage 44.4 metre tall PSLV, a workhorse launch vehicle of ISRO in its 53rd mission, soared into clear sky and every stage performed as programmed, ISRO said.
According to an ISRO press release, this was the 78th launch vehicle mission from SDSC SHAR in Sriharikota. With today’s launch, a total of 342 customer satellites from 34 countries have been placed in orbit by PSLV.
With inputs from PTI