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India’s spacetech start-up Digantara to welcome New Year with mapping testbed launch aboard Elon Musk’s rocket

India’s spacetech start-up Digantara to welcome New Year with mapping testbed launch aboard Elon Musk’s rocket

The second launch by an Indian start-up on a reusable Falcon 9 rocket seeks to complement the placing of the company’s ROBI mission launched on the Indian space agency’s workhorse in the first half of 2022.

This will be the second launch by an Indian startup using a reusable Falcon 9 rocket This will be the second launch by an Indian startup using a reusable Falcon 9 rocket

Bengaluru-based space situational awareness (SSA) firm Dingantara Research & Technologies is all set to send off Pushan Alpha, a testbed to evaluate space weather in the Earth’s orbit around the Sun aboard billionaire Elon Musk promoted SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket on Tuesday evening.

A successful launch will help to complement Digantara’s ROBust Integrating (ROBI) proton fluence meter mission that was launched on the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) workhorse PSLV C53 on June 30.

In their previous interviews with Business Today, Digantara founders have maintained that the company is committed to developing India’s SSA capability to protect its interests, even as the country seeks to grow its share in the global space economy by 2025 to $13 billion from around $9.6 billion in 2020.

Digantara founder & CEO Anirudh Sharma has gone on to claim that they plan to eventually create something akin to Google Maps for space.

“We are adding more infrastructure to solve for data inadequacies, starting with space weather to tracking lethal-non-trackable (LNT) objects from space. As India continues to expand its presence in the space industry, it will be important to invest in and strengthen its SSA capabilities,” Sharma told BT over the phone from Bengaluru on Monday afternoon.

He, however, refused to comment any further till the launch of the Pushan testbed, which is another nameg5 for the Sun God Aditya.

Founded in 2018, Digantara is working on the development of end-to-end infrastructure to address the difficulties of space operations and traffic management through its Space Mission Assurance Platform (Space-MAP). The company wants to make Space-MAP a robust one-stop solution for space launches globally, with products offered through a data feedback loop using multi-modal data sets to serve as a foundational layer for space operations and astrodynamics research.

The Falcon 9 rocket carrying Digantara payload will launch the Transporter-6 mission to the Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, US, at 8.56 pm India time.

This will be the second launch by an Indian startup using a reusable Falcon 9 rocket after Bengaluru-headquartered-Pixxel launched Shakuntala, its first, hyperspectral satellite into space in April 2022.

Published on: Jan 02, 2023, 7:06 PM IST
Posted by: Shubham Singh, Jan 02, 2023, 7:01 PM IST