ISRO’s PSLV-C51 launched successfully without first Indian private company satellite ‘Anand’ – Here’s why

The company had also said that it would be re-testing the satellite vigorously before embarking it on a rocket in the near future.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched another successful rocket PSLV-C51 from the agency’s Sriharikota launch pad this morning. However, the major excitement of the mission- a private company named Pixxel India’s satellite- could not make it to the launch as it was deferred by the company due to a software glitch a week ago, the Indian Express reported. If the satellite named ‘Anand’ had been a part of the launched rocket then it would have marked the first Indian private company’s satellite launch using ISRO’s facility.

The two year old company had deferred the launch of the satellite about a week before the D-day by saying that it did not make sense to launch the satellite in a rushed manner and it had decided to postpone the launch by a few weeks. The company had also said that it would be re-testing the satellite vigorously before embarking it on a rocket in the near future.

In his comments last December, ISRO chairman K Sivan had termed the announcement related to Anand’s launch on PSLV-C51 first of its kind and hoped that the decision would usher in a new era of space reforms. Sivan who has been at the helm of the government’s decision to introduce private players in the space industry, had then remarked that Anand would be getting launched within eight months of opening up the space sector.

The central government has since last year opened up the Indian space sector for private participation on the lines of the successful model of the USA where deep pocketed companies like SpaceX and Planet Labs are participating in the space industry.

Hence, the decision to postpone the satellite launch turned the “unprecedented” day into a routine satellite launch by ISRO which is counted among the world’s handful excellent space agencies. The rocket carried a Brazilian earth-observation satellite Amazonia-1 and 18 other satellites including 12 from USA, another series of three satellites developed by the students from Sri Shakhti Institute of Engineering and Technology, Coimbatore, Jeppiaar Institute of Technology, Sriperumbudur, and GH Raisoni College of Engineering, Nagpur.

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