Did Pixxel India’s Anand satellite in PSLV-C51 launch?

PSLV-C51 rocket launched on Sunday morning, 28 February 2021, was supposed to transport a satellite called Anand from Pixxel India.

Pixxel India is one amongst the new private start-ups that got permission to develop satellites in India’s space sector like SpaceX has been doing in US.

The company is based in Bengaluru with its existence is not more than couple of years. It was planning to orbit a few earth-imaging satellites around the Earth for continuous monitoring, high-resolution visual images, and the information valuable for defence, agriculture and climate change. Hence, first of its kind and an all-in-one satellite, Anand, was supposed to be transported with PSLV-C51 rocket from Sriharikota this morning. However, due to some software issues during testing, the launch of it put a stop to this morning, and the rocket launched without Anand on it.

The company said that it had given the time in its development and did not wish to launch the satellite when things are not clear in it. The company also mentioned that it will launch the satellite soon after resolving the ongoing software issues. The testing of the satellite would be ultra-careful since it has to be transported in the next available rocket launch, the company added in the statement.  

The launch of PSLV-C51 would be historic as Pixxel India’s satellite marked its presence in India’s space sector, which facilitates the participation of more private start-ups for the first time, an ISRO person said.

Ultimately, Pixxel India satellite was not transported in the mission, instead another main payload which equally termed as first earth- imaging satellite from Brazil called Amazonia-1, created a few years ago, launched with PSLV-C51 rocket.

Amazonia-1 is designed and operated by National Institute for Space Research in Brazil and is a satellite that has the same true solar time. It can capture images in less than a week time in its every revolution in the defined orbit. One of its superior characteristics was also to provide information to the respective department about deforestation in the Amazon forests.

Apart from Amazonia-1, the mission has also accounted some more satellites, including three from India that are jointly developed by students of engineering colleges – Sriperumbudur’s Jeppiaar Institute of Technology, Coimbatore’s Sri Shakhti Institute of Engineering and Technology and Nagpur’s GH Raisoni College of Engineering. The mission also inspired to develop a nano satellite by Space Kidz India for learning space weather and vast communication purposes.

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