India’s Polar rocket on Sunday successfully launched the Amazonia-1 satellite of Brazil from the spaceport in Sriharikota, in the first mission of the year for space agency ISRO.
The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C51, also carrying 18 other satellites, lifted off at around 10:24 am from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR) and injected into orbit primary payload Amazonia-1 about 17 minutes later in a textbook launch.
The co-passenger satellites, including one from Chennai- based Space Kidz India (SKI), which is engraved with a picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will be launched over the next two hours during which the fourth-stage of the PSLV-C51 would be re-started twice.
“I am extremely happy to declare that PSLV-C51 successfully launched in precise orbit Amazonia-1 today…The satellite is in very good health and solar panels have been deployed,” Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman K Sivan announced amid applause from the scientists.
PSLV-C51 is the first dedicated commercial mission of NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), ISRO’s commercial arm, and the launch was watched among others by Brazilian government officials at the mission control centre here, over 100 km from Chennai.
The 637-kg Amazonia-1 which became the first Brazilian satellite to be launched from India is an optical earth observation satellite of the National Institute for Space Research (INPE).
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 the clear sky and every stage performed as programmed, ISRO said.
ISRO Chief K Sivan earlier shared that India’s third mission to the Moon, Chandrayaan-3 is likely to be launched in 2022.
“We are working on it. It is the same configuration like Chandrayaan-2 but it will not have an orbiter. The orbiter launched during Chandrayaan-2 will be used for Chandrayaan-3. With that, we are working on a system and mostly the launch will be next year in 2022,” Sivan told PTI.