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India’s first private satellite launched

December 05, 2018 06:16 AM


India’s first private satellite launched
Satellite Built By Mumbai Start-Up Put Into Space By Musk’s Company
Surendra Singh & Srinivas Laxman | TNN

New Delhi:

At the stroke of midnight on Monday, Elon Musk-led US space agency Space X launched India’s first privately built satellite ExseedSAT 1 along with 63 other satellites from 17 countries. After being repeatedly postponed for 10 days due to technical and weather reasons, Space X’s Falcon 9 rocket took off at 12.10 am on Tuesday from the Vandenberg air force base in California. Over 43 minutes after the launch, Falcon 9 placed Exseed-Sat-1 into the polar orbit.

The mini communication satellite weighing just a kilo and just double the size of a Rubik’s cube (10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm) is made up of aluminium alloy. The satellite, brainchild of a Mumbai-based start-up Exseed Space, looks to serve the amateur radio community. Exseed-SAT 1 was built at a cost of Rs 2 crore. The satellite with a lifespan of five years will allow people to receive signals on 145.9 Mhz frequency with the help of a TV tuner. Built in just 18 months, ExseedSAT 1 has paved the way for private-funded space missions.

Amid the hustle-bustle of Linking Road in Mumbai’s Santa Cruz, a shopping area, Exseed Sat-1 was planned in an office just off the main road. Exseed Space CEO Kris Nair told TOI that the satellite would provide a big boost to private radio operators and help in coordinating messages among them and help the country in times of disaster. Explaining the reason for not launching it from Indian soil, Nair said Exceed Space decided to fly the satellite from the US as Space X had a slot available.

Nair said there were between 200 and 300 companies supplying components to Isro. “These organisations played a major role in our space programme. We want to go a step further and set up a full-fledged space company dealing in satellites. The focus will be on offering space-based solutions in various sectors like agriculture,’’ he said. Wearing a T-shirt and jeans, the young CEO said the decision to make the satellite was taken last year just after the company was founded in May 2017. “It is backed by our own capital and years of experience. You can call it a joint venture of both Mumbai and Hyderabad,’’ Nair said

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