ISRO to launch Brazilian satellite on Sunday; first in 2021

By | Edited by Shankhyaneel Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Feb 27, 2021 02:47 PM IST

The 637-kg Amazonia-1 will provide remote sensing data to scientists who will need the data from the satellite to monitor deforestation in the Amazon region.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is gearing up for its first launch of the year as it prepares to send a Brazilian satellite Amazonia-1 into space on Sunday. This is the first Brazilian satellite to be launched from India.

PSLV-C51 undergoing a launch rehearsal on Wednesday. (ISRO/Twitter)
PSLV-C51 undergoing a launch rehearsal on Wednesday. (ISRO/Twitter)

The countdown for the launch of PSLV-C51/Amazonia-1 mission began on Saturday at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. This is the 53rd mission of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). The rocket will launch the primary satellite Amazonia-1 along with 18 co-passenger payloads. The launch, which is subject to weather conditions, is scheduled at 10:24 am; the countdown commenced at 8:54 am (IST) on Saturday.

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The 637-kg Amazonia-1 will provide remote sensing data to scientists who will need the data from the satellite to monitor deforestation in the Amazon region, according to a statement from ISRO. The statement further said that Amazonia-1 will also provide analysis of diversified agriculture across the Brazilian territory.

The PSLV-C51/Amazonia-1 mission also marks a milestone for the Bengaluru-headquartered ISRO's commercial arm NewSpace India Limited (NSIL). PSLV-C51/Amazonia-1 is NSIL’s first dedicated commercial mission. The project has been undertaken under a business arrangement with mission management provider, Spaceflight Inc, according to a report by news agency PTI.

“We are eagerly looking forward to the launch. We are very proud to launch the first Brazilian-built satellite,” chairman and managing director of NSIL, G Narayanan, was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. Amazonia-1 is a optical earth observation satellite completely designed, integrated and tested by Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE).

The 18 co-passenger satellites that will be launched along with Amazonia-1 are Satish Dhawan Sat (SDSAT) from Chennai-based Space Kidz India (SKI) and the UNITYSat which is a the combination of three satellites, designed and built as a joint development initiative by Jeppiaar Institute of Technology, Sriperumbudur, (JITsat), G. H. Raisoni College of Engineering, Nagpur (GHRCESat) and Sri Shakthi Institute of Engineering and Technology, Coimbatore (Sri Shakthi Sat). These satellites are intended for providing Radio relay services, a statement released by ISRO said.

The SKI spacecraft will have Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s picture engraved on its top panel to mark solidarity and express gratitude towards the Atmanirbhar initiative and space privatisation measures, according to PTI. It will also send 25,000 names on board the SD SAT. “When we finalised the mission, we had asked people to send the names that will be sent to space,” an SKI spokesperson said.

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