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Credits: ISRO

PSLV ready to launch 19 satellites

In a few hours, on February 28, 2021 at 04:54 UTC / 10:24 IST (local time), India’s national space agency ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) will perform the country’s first rocket launch of 2021. The four-stage, medium-lift PSLV-DL rocket will blast off from the First Launch Pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre on the island Sriharikota, carrying 19 satellites into a Sun-synchronous polar orbit.

PSLV on the launch pad
PSLV on the launch pad at Sriharikota, waiting for its launch. Credits: ISRO


The primary payload is Amazonia-1, a 637 kg heavy optical Earth observation satellite operated by the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE). The spacecraft will provide data for monitoring of deforestation of the Amazon region and analysis of diversified agriculture across Brazil. Amazonia-1 is the first satellite designed, built and tested by the INPE.

Besides Amazonia-1, the launch vehicle will carry 18 secondary payloads for multiple companies and organisations.

Secondary payloads

SDSAT: The Satish Dhawan SAT or SDSAT for short is a nano satellite built by Space Kidz India with the purpose to study the radiation levels in outer space, space weather and to demonstrate long range communications technologies.

UNITYsat: UNITYsat is a trio of satellites built by the Jeppiaar Institute of Technology to provide radio relay services.

Sindhu Netra: Sindhu Netra is an Indian defence satellite built by the Imarat Research Centre with the purpose to assist in identifying ships.

SAI-1 NanoConnect-2: SAI-1 NanoConnect-2 is a Mexican technology demonstration satellite built by the Institute of Nuclear Science of the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

SpaceBee: The rocket will carry twelve SpaceBee communications satellites for the US-based company Swarm Technologies into low Earth orbit. The satellites are part of the company’s satellite constellation, which in its final phase will consist of about 150 small spacecrafts.

The primary payload will be separated from the rocket’s fourth stage 17 min 23 s after the launch in India. The first secondary payload will separate at 1 hr 51 min 32 s, the last at 1 hr 55 min 7 s.

This launch, designated “PSLV-C51”, will be India’s first launch in 2021, the 78th launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, the 39th flight of the PSLV and the 3rd mission flown by the PSLV-DL version.

ISRO will stream the launch live on YouTube, beginning at 04:20 UTC / 09:50 IST.


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  1. Cosmosdrone

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