Sriharikota: In the first mission of 2021, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Sunday morning successfully launched the Indian polar rocket PSLV-C51 carrying Amazonia-1 and 18 other satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.Also Read - ISRO, MapmyIndia Join Hands to Offer Indigenous Mapping Solution to Take on Google Maps

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C51, also carrying 18 other satellites, lifted off at around 10.24 am from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR) and injected into orbit primary payload Amazonia-1 about 17 minutes late. Also Read - Space Tech-startup to Send India’s First Homegrown Earth-imaging Satellite on ISRO Rocket

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Watch the lift off of ISRO PSLV-C51 rocket here:

Picture of PM Modi, copy of Bhagavad Gita taken to space 

After a gap of over one-and-half hours, the co-passenger satellites, including one from Chennai- based Space Kidz India (SKI), which is engraved with a picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, were launched subsequently one after another in the space of ten minutes in a textbook launch.

SKI’s Satish Dhawan Satellite (SD-SAT) also carried Bhagavad Gita in a Secured Digital card format.

According to SKI, the picture of PM 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.

Mission successful, all 19 satellites safe

A beaming Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman K Sivan announced the mission was successful and all 19 satellites were launched in precise orbits.

“Today is a very great day for the entire ISRO team and the PSLV-C51 is a special mission for India. Let me congratulate and compliment the team ISRO for achieving the precise injection of AMAZONIA-1 and 18 other satellites,” he said.

PM hails launch, congratulates Brazil President Bolsonaro

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated ISRO on the success of the first dedicated commercial launch of PSLV-C51/Amazonia-1 Mission, saying it ushers in a new era of space reforms in the country.

PM Modi also congratulated Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro on the successful launch of Brazil’s Amazonia-1 satellite by PSLV-C51, and said this is a historic moment in space cooperation between the two countries.

“Congratulations to NSIL (NewSpace India Limited) and @isro on the success of the 1st dedicated commercial launch of PSLV-C51/Amazonia-1 Mission. This ushers in a new era of space reforms in the country,” PM Modi tweeted.

About ISRO PSLV-C51 mission:

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.