India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C51) has successfully launched Amazonia-1 along with 18 co-passenger satellites on February 28, 2021, from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota.

After a flight of about 17 minutes 23 seconds, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle injected the Amazonia-1 into its intended orbit, and in the succeeding 1 hour 38 minutes, all the 18 co-passenger satellites were successfully separated from the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle in a predetermined sequence.

The 18 co-passenger satellites onboard PSLV-C51 include four from IN-SPACe and fourteen from NSIL. Out of four satellites from IN-SPACe, three were UNITYsats designed and built as a joint development by 

  • Sriperumbudur (JITsat), 
  • Nagpur (GHRCEsat), 
  • Jeppiaar Institute of Technology, 
  • G.H.Raisoni College of Engineering, and 
  • Sri Shakti Institute of Engineering and Technology, Coimbatore (Sri Shakthi Sat) and 
  • One was Satish Dhawan Sat (SDSAT) from Space Kidz India.

* The fourteen satellites from NSIL carried were the commercial satellites from India (1) and the USA (13).

Short note on Amazonia-1

Amazonia-1 is the optical earth observation satellite of the National Institute for Space Research (INPE). 

Purpose of Amazonia-1: 

This satellite would further strengthen the existing structure by 

  • providing remote sensing data to users for monitoring deforestation in the Amazon region and 
  • analysis of diversified agriculture across the Brazilian territory

Important points:

  • PSLV-C51/Amazonia-1 is the first dedicated commercial mission of NewSpace India Limited (NSIL)
  • NSIL is a Government of India company under the Department of Space.
  • PSLV-C51 is the 53rd flight of PSLV and the 3rd flight of PSLV in the ‘DL’ configuration (with two strap-on motors). 
  • This was the 78th launch vehicle mission from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota.
  • With the Amazonia-1 launch, the total number of customer satellites from foreign countries that were placed in orbit by PSLV is 342 satellites from 34 countries.
  • Vikram Sarabhai is the father of Indian space program.

Expected questions:

1. What is Amazonia-1?

2. Why are foreign countries looking to India for Satellite launches?

3. Write a short note: PSLV v/s GSLV

4. Where is National Institute for Space Research?

5. Where is Satish Dhawan Space Centre?


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