A nanosatellite will carry a copy of Bhagavad Gita, a photograph of Prime Mister Narendra Modi, and names of 25,000 individuals to space by February-end. The nanosatellite called Satish Dhawan Satellite, or SD SAT is named after one of the founding fathers of India's space programme.
The Satish Dhawan nanosatellite will be launched on February 28 by the polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV). According to a report by Hindustan Times, SpaceKidz India has developed the nanosatellite, and it will be its second satellite after Kalamsat to be launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). SpaceKidz India is an organisation dedicated to promoting space science among students.
The nanosatellite will also carry three scientific payloads - to study space radiation, magnetosphere, and to demonstrate a low-power wide-area communication network, the daily reported.
Dr Srimathy Kesan, founder and CEO of SpaceKidz India, expressing his excitement, said: "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".
On sending Bhagavad Gita, Kesan said this idea was inspired by other space missions that have carried holy books such as Bible.
Further, in the wake of the Aatma Nirbhar Bharat programme, the organisation decided to send PM Modi's photograph to space on the top panel along with the words 'Aatmanirbhar mission'. The satellite has been completely developed in India, including the electronics and circuitry, Kesan added.
Additionally, the names of ISRO chairperson Dr K Sivan and scientific secretary Dr R Umamaheswaran have been etched on the bottom panel.
On February 28, ISRO will be launching Brazilian satellite Amazonia-1 as the main payload and 20 other satellites from Sriharikota at around 10:23 AM Sunday. The launch of PSLV-C51 is the first dedicated commercial mission of NewSpace India Ltd, a Public Sector Unit under the Department of Space.
The 20 co-passenger satellites include one nanosatellite (INS-2TD) from ISRO, four commercial satellites booked by Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe), and 15 satellites arranged by NSIL.
Among the four satellites launched via IN-SPACe are three UNITYsats from a consortium of three Indian academic institutes, and one from Space Kidz India.
A satellite, 'Anand', built by another Indian startup Pixxel will also be part of the launch. Anand satellite will be used for detecting forest fires early, oil and gas leaks, crop disease on time, and water pollution levels. Pixxel is aiming to create a constellation of 30 earth observation satellites by December 2022 that will provide global coverage every 24 hours.
Also read: Tesla in India? Not likely anytime soon