India's PSLV rocket on Sunday carried an electronic copy of Bhagavad Gita and a photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi into as space it successfully launched Amazonia-1 of Brazil and 18 other satellites from the spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C51 lifted off at around 10.24 am from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR) and first injected into orbit primary payload Amazonia-1 about 17 minutes later.
After a gap of over one-and-half hours, the co-passenger satellites were launched subsequently one after another in the space of ten minutes in a textbook launch.
One of the co-passenger satellites from Chennai-based Space Kidz India (SKI) is engraved with a picture of Prime Minister Modi. According to SKI, the picture of Modi has been engraved on the top panel of the spacecraft to show solidarity and gratitude for his Atma Nirbhar initiative and space sector privatisation.
SKI's Satish Dhawan Satellite (SD-SAT) also carried Bhagavad Gita in a Secured Digital card format.
PSLV-C51 is the first dedicated commercial mission of NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), ISRO's commercial arm, and the launch was watched among others by Brazilian government officials at the mission control centre here, over 100 kms from Chennai.
The 18 co-passenger satellites placed in the orbit are -- four from ISRO's Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (three UNITY Sats from consortium of three Indian academic institutes and the SD-SAT from SKI) and 14 from NSIL.
The 637-kg Amazonia-1 which became the first Brazilian satellite to be launched from India is an optical earth observation satellite of National Institute for Space Research (INPE).
It is intended for providing remote sensing data to users for monitoring deforestation in the Amazon region and analysis of diversified agriculture across the Brazilian territory.
Earlier, at the end of the 25.5 hour countdown, the four-stage 44.4 metre tall PSLV, a workhorse launch vehicle of ISRO in its 53rd mission, soared into clear sky and every stage performed as programmed, ISRO said.
(With PTI inputs)
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