A satellite developed by an Indian start-up SpaceKidz India expected to be launched at the end of February will reportedly carry to space a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, a photograph of Prime Minister Modi along with the names of 25,000 individuals. The satellite named after Satish Dhawan, who was one of the founders of the Indian Space Programme, will be launched by the polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV).
As reported by Hindustan Times, the satellite will be sent to space as part of the PSLV-C51 mission, scheduled for February 28, which will also carry Brazil’s earth observation satellite Amazonia-1 as the primary satellite along with 20 co-passenger satellites, including a nanosatellite from the ISRO, three UnitySats by an academic consortium and a demonstration satellite by another start-up named Pixxel, incorporated as Syzygy Space Technologies.
Pixxel reportedly plans to create a constellation of 30 earth observation satellites by December 2022 that will provide global coverage every 24 hours. This is one of the two satellites developed by Indian startups that will be launched by the ISRO. ISRO had opened the space sector for private entities in June last year.
Names of individuals invited to spark people’s interest in the mission
According to reports, the nanosatellite is developed by SpaceKidz India, an organisation that promotes space science among students. The satellite will carry three scientific payloads- one to study space radiation, another to study the magnetosphere and the other one to demonstrate a low-power wide-area communication network. Dr Srimathy Kesan, the founder and CEO of SpaceKidz India, said that this would be the first satellite of the organisation to be deployed in the space.
She told that people were invited to send their names to be sent to space and thousands of pf people responded. “There is a lot of excitement in the group right now. This will be our first satellite to be deployed in space. When we finalised the mission, we asked people to send in their names that will be sent to space. And, within a week we received 25,000 entries. Of these, 1,000 names were sent in by people from outside India. We decided to do this because it will spark people’s interest in the mission and space science”, Kesan said. The people who sent their names have been issued ‘boarding pass’ as told by Kesan.
The satellite is entirely ‘Made In India’, including electronics and circuitry
Dr Kesan said that the mission is completely indigenous and has been developed in India only. She said that that a copy of the Bhagavad Gita would be sent to the space on the lines of the space missions wherein holy books such as Bible were carried to the space. “We have also added the name and photograph of the Prime Minister on the top panel with the words Atmanirbhar Mission. This satellite has been completely developed and fabricated in India, including the electronics and circuitry”, she added. The satellite will also have the names of the Chairperson of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Dr. K Sivan and scientific secretary Dr. R Umamaheswaran etched at its bottom panel.
Some design changes were recommended by the ISRO in the satellite following which some last-minute checks are being conducted. The satellite will be transported to the spaceport at Sriharikota on Sunday.