The Brazilian Amazonia-1 satellite is launched by an Indian PSLV launcher

Late Saturday, India deployed its first flight of 2021, launching Brazil’s Amazonia-1 Earth observation spacecraft into orbit along with 18 smaller payloads. At 11:54 p.m. Eastern on February 28, the 44-meter-high PSLV-C51 rocket with two stable side boosters launched from Satish Dhawan Space Center on the Indian island of Sriharikota.

Seventeen minutes after deployment, the PSLV inserted the 700-kg Amazonia-1 into its planned Sun-synchronous orbit. The remaining 18 travelers were released in a set order over the course of the next 98 minutes. The mission was welcomed as NewSpace India Limited’s (NSIL) very first dedicated commercial flight. NSIL is a Government of India corporation under its Department of Space.

The Amazonia-1 optical Earth observation spacecraft is operated by Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE). K Sivan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), reported shortly after the release that the satellite was also in good health. This satellite will provide remote sensing data to the state and scientific community for the purposes of tracking deforestation in the Amazon and studying diversified agriculture throughout the Brazilian territory.

It has a wide-view optical imager (camera with three visible frequency bands – VIS – and one near-infrared band – Near Infrared) effective at viewing a range of 850 kilometers with a precision of 64 meters. Amazonia-1 is the very first Earth observation satellite planned, developed, tested, and operated entirely by a Brazilian corporation. In the coming years, INPE intends to launch two more spacecrafts in the series. Brazil’s INPE hired Spaceflight Inc. to handle the project.

Because of its low mass, it had space for a variety of other payloads. Twelve SpaceBEE 1U-CubeSats for United States-based Swarm Technologies, Corporation for two-satellite communications as well as a data relay, and the SAI-1 NanoConnect-2, built by the National University of Mexico’s Space Instrumentation Laboratory, were among the 14 aboard via NSIL. The Defense Research and Development Organization of India sponsored SindhuNetra, an AIS technology demonstrator.

The remaining four payloads were intended for INSPACe, India’s current legislative and space marketing agency.  The Jeppiaar Institute of Technology, the Sri Shakthi Institute of Engineering and Technology, and the G. H. Raisoni College of Engineering established the three UNITYsat satellites. The 3U-CubeSat Satish Dhawan Sat (SDSAT) from the Space Kidz India is the last payload, which will study radiation as well as the magnetosphere. Following the PSLV-C51 deployment, ISRO announced that 342 customer satellites from 34 nations had been launched into orbit by PSLV.

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