The Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C51 successfully launched a nanosatellite SDSAT built by Chennai-based Space Kidz India (SKI), along with 18 other satellites, including a Brazilian satellite called Amazonia-1 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR) on Sunday. Even as the country cheered for the success of the ISRO, some ‘journalists’ such as Suhasini Haidar were busy peddling misinformation to target both Prime Minister Modi and the ISRO.
On Sunday, Suhasini Haidar, the National Editor of left-wing newspaper ‘The Hindu’, put out false information on social media to mislead the public about the recent satellite launch by ISRO. In a tweet, Suhasini Haidar, who has a history of peddling fake news on social media, claimed that the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) had put up the Prime Minister’s name and photo in one of its nanosatellite that was launched into space on Sunday.
Taking a dig at ISRO, the alleged journalist said it would be interesting to know whether the first images captured by ISRO’s satellite from space would be of the recently refurbished Narendra Modi cricket stadium.
According to Suhasini, the ISRO had launched a satellite that had carried images of Prime Minister Modi. The insinuation by Suhasini is that ISRO is now forced to carry images of PM Modi in the satellites it launches.
Did ISRO nanosatellite carry images of PM Modi?
The claims of Suhasini Haidar that ISRO carried images and names of PM Modi are blatantly false.
On Sunday, the ISRO’s had launched a Brazilian satellite called Amazonia-1 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR). Besides, the PSLV-C51 also carried 18 other satellites from Sriharikota, including a nanosatellite Satish Dhawan Sat (SDSAT) developed by Chennai-based Space Kidz India (SKI).
Space Kidz India an organisation working towards promoting space science among students. SDSAT, a nanosatellite built by Space Kidz India, intends to study the radiation levels/space weather and demonstrate long-range communication technologies. The satellite built by a private entity had carried 25,000 names on its satellites, including ISRO chairman K Sivan and scientific secretary R Umamaheshwaran on the bottom of the satellite.
On the top of the satellite, the picture of PM Modi was engraved. According to SKI, PM Modi and other scientists’ names were etched on the nanosatellite to show solidarity and gratitude for his AtmaNirbhar initiative and space sector privatisation.
Addition to that, SKI’s Satish Dhawan Satellite (SD-SAT) also carried Bhagavad Gita in a Secured Digital card format.
Most importantly, the ISRO had launched the SDSAT on a commercial agreement through its New Space India Limited (NSIL). NSIL, a government company under the Department of Space, is also a commercial arm of the ISRO that launches private satellites like SDSAT through its rockets.
The nanosatellite launched that carried names of 25,000 individuals, including PM Modi, is neither developed by ISRO nor funded by ISRO as insinuated by Suhasini Haidar. As a private firm, SKI has its own discretion to carry names and images of any particular individual. To claim that ISRO had put up PM Modi’s name and image on its own satellite is a blatant lie.
In fact, the article that was shared by Suhasini Haidar itself clarifies that a private firm and not ISRO developed the nanosatellite that carried PM Modi’s name and image.