On the morning of August 7, as ISRO’s Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) took off from Sriharikota for its maiden space flight, hundreds of girls who traveled from villages across the state rose into the sky before the rocket disappeared. Will be watching with anticipation. .
But more than just witnessing a scientific feat, SSLV D-1 will mark the culmination of a project the students began six months ago. The spacecraft will carry Azadi Sat, an 8 kg microsatellite carrying 75 small payloads developed by this all-girls team from 75 rural schools across India.
If all goes according to plan, the small rocket will separate from EOS-02, the experimental Earth imaging satellite, 12.3 minutes after its scheduled launch at 9:18 am from Satish Dhawan Space in Sriharikota. Exactly one minute later, at an altitude of 356 km above Earth, it will separate from the Azadi satellite to be inserted into Low Earth Orbit (LEO).
It is nothing less than a flight of freedom for these girls. This is the first time that a space-related project has been created in their class that will actually go into space and collect data,” said Srimathi Kasan, founder-CEO of Space Kids India (SKI), highlighting that Stating how the students overcame the challenges posed by the pandemic and internet woes to be a part of the project, “Many of them brought their families to Sriharikota to witness the launch. Permission was not given.”
The Chennai-based organization, which led the work on AzaadoSAT with Niti Aayog, works with high school students to develop basic experiments that they can learn and collect with the support of their teachers. For this mission, they selected 10 girls each (classes 8 to 10) from 75 schools across India, and tutored them to create small experiments that were later integrated into the satellite.
Main systems, including on-board computer, flight software, electrical power system, telemetry and telecommand are developed and tested by SKI.
Jana guna mana in space
The mission will also celebrate 75 years of India’s independence with the participation of 75 schools across the states. Kaisan told News18 that the Azadi set will also carry a recorded version of the national anthem sung by Rabindranath Tagore, which he plans to play in space to pay homage to the country. Another ‘Space Song’ specially composed for the occasion will be released on the day of the launch.
In the past, astronauts have taken song recorders and musical instruments with them on space missions, and have even played and recorded renditions of popular songs. However, unlike crewed spacecraft which are filled with air (under constant pressure), and allow sound waves to travel, outer space offers no such medium. In the absence of air, sound waves cannot travel through outer space, and nothing can be heard.
75 experiments in space
With all the arrangements in place and the mission set to launch Sunday, Casson said the goal is to establish a successful ground connection as soon as the satellite reaches orbit, and to have a stable connection to collect any data.
A key objective of the Azadi satellite will be to demonstrate a LoRA (Long Range Radio) transponder to create a space-based LoRA gateway. While for this mission, it will mostly be used for amateur radio communications, LoRA may eventually be useful in connecting critical equipment such as ocean buoys, tsunami buoys, and landslide monitoring sensors.
In addition, it will demonstrate an indigenous nanosatellite subsystem built by students. The satellite also includes a radiation counter to measure ionizing radiation, and study their effects on subsystems, if any. The plane will also have a selfie camera to take pictures of the satellite and send it back to Earth. According to the team, this could help study the effects of solar winds on the surface of satellites and solar panels.
A look at the commercial space market
The new 34-meter-tall launch vehicle, which will send two experimental satellites into space on Sunday, is India’s answer to a growing commercial satellite market that thrives on launch-on-demand capabilities. According to ISRO, SSLV can launch mini, micro and nano satellites anywhere from 10-500 kg to 500 km planar orbit. It is cost-effective with short turnaround time, flexible to accommodate the on-demand feasibility of launching multiple satellites, and requires minimal launch infrastructure requirements – accelerating commercial missions in the near future. is important.
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