India launches Brazil's Amazonia-1, 18 other satellites

In the first dedicated mission of its commercial arm NSIL, the ISRO on Sunday successfully launched Brazil’s earth observation satellite Amazonia-1 and 18 co-passengers, including five built by students, onboard a Polar rocket from the spaceport here.

The satellites were placed in precise orbits one after another after the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C51 lifted off at 10.24 am from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR), in the first mission this year for the Indian Space Research Organisation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated ISRO on the success of the first dedicated commerciallaunch mission of PSLV-C51/Amazonia-1, saying it ushers in a new era of space reforms in the country. The co-passengers included Satish Dhawan Satellite (SD- SAT) nano satellite from Chennai-based Space Kidz India (SKI) which is engraved with a picture of Modi and also carried Bhagavad Gita in a Secured Digital card format.

According to SKI, the picture of Modi has been engraved on the top panel of the spacecraft to show solidarity and gratitude for his Atma Nirbhar initiative and space sector reforms.

Of the five built by students, the SD-SAT is intended to study radiation levels among others, while UNITYsat, a three- in-one satellite by universities, is for providing radio relay service and SindhuNetra developed by Bengaluru-based PES University would be used for identifying suspicious ships through satellite imaging, officials said. Amazonia-1, a fully Brazil built satellite with a mission life of four years, is intended for providing remote sensing data to users for monitoring deforestation in the Amazon region and analysis of diversified agriculture across the Brazilian territory. SKI said besides the picture of Modi, it was also sending 25,000 names on-board the SD-SAT.