This mission also marks the first dedicated commercial mission of ISRO’s commercial nodal agency, the NewSpace India Limited. (Representational image: ISRO)
ISRO PSLV-C51 launch: The countdown for the launch of Indian Space Research Organisation’s PSLV-C51/ Amazonia-1 mission began on Saturday, the space agency said. Countdown for the launch began at 8:54 am on Saturday. The PSLV-C51 is scheduled for launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota at 10:24 pm on Sunday, February 28. The mission would mark the 53rd PSLV or the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle mission.
The PSLC-C51 rocket would carry Brazilian satellite Amazonia-1 as the primary satellite. Apart from this, 19 co-passenger satellites would also be launched using the ISRO vehicle. The launch, however, is subject to weather conditions.
This mission also marks the first dedicated commercial mission of ISRO’s commercial nodal agency, the NewSpace India Limited or NSIL. The NSIL is working on this mission as per a commercial agreement with Spaceflight Inc, which is a satellite rideshare and mission management provider based in the US’ Seattle. Of the 18 co-passenger satellites, 14 are being sent by NSIL.
Amazonia-1, which is being sent by Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE), is an optical Earth observation satellite. In a statement, ISRO said that Amazonia-1 would work to provide the existing structure further strength, as it would share remote sensing data in order to monitor the deforestation in the Amazon region, as well as provide analysis of diversified agriculture across Brazil.
The remaining four co-passenger are from the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre or the IN-SPACe nodal agency, which is an independent agency under the Department of Space. The agency works to allow the private sector to participate in space activities and use facilities owned by the DOS. The satellites from IN-SPACe include three UNITYsats from a consortium of three India-based academic institutions, along with one satellite from Space Kidz India called the Satish Dhawan Sat.