• ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle(PSLV-C51) rocket launched Brazil’s Amazonia-1 and 18 co-passenger satellites from India (5) and the U.S.A. (13) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR) at Sriharikota.
    • SHAR, Sriharikota is the Spaceport of India. It is responsible for providing Launch Base Infrastructure for the Indian Space Programme.
    • The PSLV-C51, equipped with two solid strap-on boosters, the third such launch of the PSLV-DL variant, lifted off from the first launch pad at Sriharikota.

Brazilian Satellite Amazonia 1

  • Watching the Amazon rain forests:
    • The Amazonia-1, weighing 637 kg, belonging to the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE), was separated.
    • The satellite will further strengthen the existing structure by providing remote sensing data to users for monitoring deforestation in the Amazon region and for analysis of diversified agriculture across the Brazilian territory, according to ISRO.
    • The Amazonia-1 was injected into its precise orbit of 758 km in a sun-synchronous polar orbit.
    • This moment represents the top of all this effort made by so many people in our National Institute for Space Research and our Space agency.
    • This is a very important mission for Brazil and it represents a new era for Brazilian industry for satellites. This is one positive step of our partnership that is going to grow. We are going to work together and this is the beginning of our partnership.
    • Following that, the other 18 customer satellites were placed into their intended orbits.
  • Information about Amazon Rainforests:
    • These are large tropical rainforest occupying the drainage basin of the Amazon River and its tributaries in northern South America and covering an area of 6,000,000 square km.
    • Tropical forests are closed-canopy forests growing within 28 degrees north or south of the equator.
    • They are very wet places, receiving more than 200 cm rainfall per year, either seasonally or throughout the year.
    • Temperatures are uniformly high – between 20°C and 35°C. Such forests are found in Asia, Australia, Africa, South America, Central America, Mexico and on many of the Pacific Islands.
    • Comprising about 40% of Brazil’s total area, it is bounded by the Guiana Highlands to the north, the Andes Mountains to the west, the Brazilian central plateau to the south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east.

PSLV-C51, the first dedicated launch by NSIL

  1. PSLV-C51/Amazonia-1 is the first dedicated commercial mission of New Space India Limited (NSIL), a Government of India company under Department of Space.
  2. New Space India Limited (NSIL), the newly created second commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation, has bagged its first contract.
  3. The establishment of NSIL was announced in Budget 2019. One of the mandates of NSIL is to mass-produce and manufacture the SSLV and the more powerful PSLV in partnership with the private sector in India through technology transfers.
  4. Its aim is to use research and development carried out by ISRO over the years for commercial purposes through Indian industry partners.
  5. It differs from ISRO’s existing commercial arm Antrix Corporation. Antrix will handle ISRO’s commercial deals for satellites and launch vehicles with foreign customers.
  6. NSIL will deal with capacity building of local industry for space manufacturing.

Significance of Programme

  • Provided Impetus to Indo-Brazil Relationship:
    • Since the early 2000s, India and Brazil have signed cooperative instruments for exploration and peaceful uses of outer space, both at the government level (2004) and space agency level (between ISRO and Brazilian Space Agency AEB in 2002).
    • The new satellite (Amazonia-1) would open the door for multiple business, trade and governmental opportunities. Brazil has also requested India’s support in procurement of material and systems for its launch vehicle programme
  • Implemented New Space Reforms:
    • Five Indian satellites were built under the new space reforms announced by the Government of India.
      • The approved reforms will boost the private sector participation in the entire range of space activities.
    • Four of the co-passenger satellites were signed for launch by IN-SPACe, ISRO’s small satellites facilitation agency, and 14 were signed up through NSIL for commercial launch
      • IN-SPACe: It is an independent nodal agency under the Department of Space (DOS) for allowing space activities and usage of DOS owned facilities by Non-Government private Entities (NGPEs) as well as to prioritise the launch manifest.
  • Demonstrated Applications of Space Technology:
    • Projects such as this demonstrate the extension of applications of Space Technology to different sectors and areas which brought ‘ease of living’, ‘ease of environment’ and ‘ease of humanity’ for common man.

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