Another success for ISRO: Brazil’s Amazonia-1 satellite to be launched on board PSLV in 2020

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Published: December 24, 2018 4:46:49 PM

Ground stations in Brazil (Alcantara and Cuiaba) provided tracking support for Indian satellite (Chandrayaan-I, Megha Tropiques, MOM, and ASTROSAT) on commercial basis.

ISRO already has the facility to impart training on how to operate the station and gather data through remote sensing, which will be used by Brazilian scientists for training.

After the recent successful launch of a Colombian satellite by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) along with other countries onboard PSLV-C43, another South American country Brazil is getting ready for launching its satellite in 2020.

Confirming this to FE Online, a representative of the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), said, “The launch with PSLV in 2020 is confirmed but the date and month has yet to be decided as it is dependent on the schedule of the Indian space agency ISRO.”

 Adding, “Designed, assembled and tested in Brazil, the Amazonia-1 satellite will be the first satellite for Earth Observation. And, Amazonia-1 will be the primary payload, not a hitch-hike satellite.”

Sharing her views Dr Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, Head, Nuclear and Space Policy Initiative, Observer Research Foundation (ORF) said, “The emerging trend of South American nations approaching ISRO may not necessarily be a result of India’s doing – it is more of a commercial consideration than otherwise.  The fact that India offers credible economically feasible satellite launches is a big attraction for these countries.”

Adding “India’s successful Mars mission in 2014 in particular highlighted the growing sophistication of India’s space programme and has had the effect of pushing many countries to look at India as a possible destination for their satellite launches in a cost effective manner.”

According to Rajagopalan, “ISRO and its commercial arm Antrix Corporation Ltd could do more outreach to attract more international partners as the size of the global space market is likely to expand especially in Africa and South America.  The global trends to breaking big satellite constellations also favour ISRO’s PSLV.”

As reported earlier, at the 6th BRICS summit in 2014, both India and Brazil had inked agreement for setting up a Brazilian earth station that will receive data from Indian satellites. ISRO already has the facility to impart training on how to operate the station and gather data through remote sensing, which will be used by Brazilian scientists for training.

Since early 2000s, many documents for space cooperation are signed at government-level and at space agency level between India and Brazil. Brazil received data from India’s Resourcesat-1 satellite during October 2009 to September 2013 and currently receiving data from Resourcesat-2 since October 2014.

Ground stations in Brazil (Alcantara and Cuiaba) provided tracking support for Indian satellite (Chandrayaan-I, Megha Tropiques, MOM, and ASTROSAT) on commercial basis.

According to the official website of The National Institute for Space Research (INPE) of Brazil, it has recently concluded the process for contracting the services with US company Spaceflight Inc that will put Amazonia-1, the first fully-designed earth observation satellite assembled and tested in Brazil, into orbit.

Amazonia-1 is currently in the pre-launch phase of the Integration and Testing Laboratory (LIT) of INPE.  Outlining the purpose of the Amazonia-1, the INPE says that the images of the Brazilian satellite will be used to observe and monitor deforestation especially in the Amazon region, as well as the diversified vegetation and agriculture throughout the national territory.

The Amazon Mission will provide remote sensing data (images) to observe and monitor deforestation especially in the Amazon region, as well as the diversified agriculture throughout the country with a high rate of revisit, seeking to work in synergy with existing environmental programs.

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