PSLV Launch Carrying Brazil's Satellite, Gaganyaan Mission Update And Deep Sea Exploration: What Budget 2021 Said On Science And Tech Specifically
The upcoming launch of a Brazilian satellite by an Indian launcher and an update on the Gaganyaan mission featured in the Finance Minister's budget speech.
The PSLV-CS51 launch carrying Brazil's Amazonia satellite alongside smaller Indian satellites will be executed by NewSpace India Limited, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said today (1 February) during her budget speech in Parliament.
NewSpace India Limited is a relatively new public sector undertaking (PSU), under the administrative control of the Department of Space. It is the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation and is tasked with functions such as the production of satellites and launch vehicles, marketing of space-based services, and transfer of domestic space technology.
The PSU has received an allocation of Rs 700 crore in the budget 2021-22.
It will execute the upcoming PSLV launch carrying Brazil's "Amazonia 1", the first earth-observation satellite designed and developed entirely by the South American country.
The Amazon mission, which includes two other satellites, Amazonia-1B and Amazonia-2, is set to provide remote-sensing data for the purpose of observing and monitoring deforestation, especially in the Amazon region.
The first one to take off, Amazonia 1 will take pictures of the planet every five days with the help of the wide-view optical imager on the ship.
Thanks to its quick go-arounds, the satellite will be capable of providing data from a particular place in two days if required.
It is equipped to cover a range of about 850 km at a resolution of 64 m.
The satellite left for India in the third week of December on board an Emirates B777 plane. Ever since it landed in India, launch preparation activities have been underway at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
The launch is on schedule and lift-off is expected on 28 February at 10.24 am, Indian Standard Time.
Speaking about the mission, ISRO chairman K Sivan told The Times of India that the mission will "initiate a new era of space reforms in India", with the context that there are private Indian satellites being ferried on the PSLV.
In addition to the satellite launch, Sitharaman provided an update on Gaganyaan, India's first human spaceflight mission.
"As part of the Gaganyaan mission activities, four Indian astronauts are being trained on generic spaceflight aspects in Russia," she said.
The first robotic launch (not carrying humans) is slated for December 2021.
This year, the Department of Space received a higher allocation in the 2021-22 budget as compared to the previous two years.
It has been allocated Rs 13,949.09 crore in this year's budget, with Rs 8,228.63 crore earmarked for capital expenditure.
In the previous two years, the allocation was Rs 9,500 crore (2020-21, revised down) and Rs 13,017 crore (2019-20).
Going from space to sea, Sitharaman spoke of launching a Deep Ocean Mission with a budget outlay of more than Rs 4,000 crore over five years.
"This mission will cover deep ocean survey exploration and projects for the conservation of deep sea bio-diversity," the Finance Minister said.
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