Built by 750 girl students of 75 schools across India, AzaadiSAT is all set for launch early next month onboard the maiden flight of ISRO’s Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV). The eight-kg satellite has 75 Femto experiments, selfie cameras to click pictures of its own solar panels and long-range communication transponders.
The project, with a mission life of six months, is part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations, to mark the 75th anniversary of Independence.
Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (INSPACe), in a tweet, said 750 girl students from 75 schools across India will be “cheerfully looking at the maiden launch of India’s latest launch vehicle SSLV, as it carries their AzaadiSat onboard as a co-passenger”.
“This is the first of its kind space mission with an all-women concept to promote women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) as this year’s UN theme is ‘Women in Space’,” Rifath Sharook, Chief Technology Officer at Space Kidz India, which has developed the satellite, told PTI.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has developed the SSLV to put in low earth orbit satellites weighing less than 500 kg, which are much in demand for applications such as earth observation and providing internet connectivity in remote areas.
The primary payload of the first demonstration flight of SSLV is an earth observation satellite MicroSat 2A. According to ISRO, an SSLV rocket can be manufactured within a week to meet the demands of the burgeoning space sector.
Meanwhile, Union Minister Jitendra Singh told the Lok Sabha on Wednesday that ISRO, through its commercial arms, has earned 279 million dollars in foreign exchange by launching satellites for global clients.
In a written reply to a question, Singh said ISRO, in association with its commercial arms, has successfully launched 345 foreign satellites from 34 countries on-board the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
“Total foreign exchange revenue earned through launching of foreign satellites amounts to USD 56 million (one million=10 lakhs) and 220 million Euros approximately,” Singh said, without mentioning any time-frame for such launches.
As per current exchange rates, 220 million euros are equivalent to 223 million dollars. The latest PSLV mission was on June 30, when ISRO’s warhorse launch vehicle placed three Singaporean satellites into orbit.
The PSLV-C53 mission by ISRO successfully launched three Singapore customer satellites, namely DS-EO, NeuSAR and SCOOB-1. The PSLV-C53 was the second dedicated commercial mission for New Space India Limited (NSIL), a Central Public Sector Enterprise under administrative control of the Department of Space (DOS), Singh said. (PTI)