NELLORE: Entering the new-age of space commerce, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Sunday launched 19 satellites into space from Brazil, the USA, and India with textbook precision in its first launch of the year.

This was the first dedicated mission of Isro’s commercial arm NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), a public sector unit set up under the department of space in 2019. Sunday’s mission was under a commercial arrangement with Spaceflight Inc, a satellite rideshare and mission management provider based in Seattle.

The satellites were hoisted by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C51) rocket, which lifted off from the spaceport at Sriharikota. This was one of the longest flights of the PSLV and lasted one hour, 55 minutes, and seven seconds.

The rocket carried Brazil’s 637-kg Amazonia-1 satellite, ‘Sindhu Netra’, a technology demonstrator satellite from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), 13 from the USA and four others from India, taking off from the first launch-pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) at 10.24 am.

Seventeen minutes after the launch, the rocket injected Amazonia-1 into its intended orbit and in the succeeding one hour 38 minutes, released the other satellites into orbit.


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