The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) PSLV-C51 detonated at the agency’s launchpad at the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Srishakota, a little before 10.30 am today, carrying 19 payloads and ringing in its schedule for 2021.
The 53rd Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) launch took place at 10.24 as planned, with Brazil’s 637 kg of ammonia-1, an optical earth observation satellite, as its primary passenger. This satellite will further strengthen the existing structure by providing users with remote sensory data for monitoring deforestation in the Amazon region and for analysis of diverse agriculture in the Brazilian region.
The 18 ‘co-passengers’ include four of IN-SPACe and 14 of ISRO’s commercial arm, NewSpace India (NSIL).
The IN-SPACe satellites include three UNITYsats from a consortium of Indian educational institutions and a Satish Dhawan unit of Space Kids India, which will study space radiation, among other things. It also includes an engraved photograph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi which symbolizes his self-reliant initiative and space privatization.
According to a PTI report, Space Kids has stated that an e-copy of the Bhagavad Gita saved on the SD card is also part of the package.
This is the first dedicated PSLV commercial mission for NSIL, which is doing it under a commercial arrangement with Seattle-based firm Spaceflight.
Today’s launch was originally intended to carry 20 satellites in addition to the Amazon-1. Two of them were canceled for technical reasons in the last week or so.
According to PTI, ISRO is putting its geo-imaging satellite GISAT-1 in the front row. This launch, using a GSLV-F10 rocket, was originally planned for March 5 last year, but was postponed the day before the explosion.
According to ISRO officials, the 2,268 kg GISAT-1 is the first state-of-the-art agile earth observation satellite to be placed by GSLV-F10 in a geosynchronous transfer orbit.