Spaceflight Inc. has revealed the details about the upcoming launch of their largest customer satellite launch to date, the Amazonia-1 spacecraft.
To accommodate the nearly 700-kilogram satellite, Spaceflight purchased an entire NewSpace India Limited’s (NSIL) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). The mission, named PSLV-C51/ Amazonia-1, is targeted for launch at the end of February from the Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota (SDSC, SHAR), India.
The spacecraft was produced by INPE, the National Institute for Space Research (in Portuguese: Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais), Brazil’s leading entity dedicated to space research and exploration and is the first Earth Observation (EO) satellite to be completely designed, integrated, tested and operated in Brazil.
Amazonia-1 will launch under a commercial arrangement with NSIL, an Indian government company under Department of Space (DOS) and the commercial arm of ISRO.
A Sun Synchronous Orbiting satellite (SSO), Amazonia-1 will carry an optical camera that can autonomously generate images of any part of the world every five days, providing value in developing applications such as deforestation alerts in the Amazon. This will be the debut satellite based on the Brazilian Multi Mission Platform (MMP), a general-purpose service bus for 500 kg class satellites.
Spaceflight was awarded a multi-year contract to provide launch services for INPE through a highly competitive government procurement process among global launch providers in December of 2018. The Brazilian-built spacecraft is 1.7 meters in diameter and 2.6 meters tall and will be deployed to a mean altitude 752 kilometers SSO, while the additional secondary rideshare spacecraft will be deployed at a lower altitude.
In addition to PSLV, Spaceflight works with a portfolio of global launch vehicles, including Falcon 9, Antares, Electron and Vega, to provide a variety of launch options to its customers. Most recently, Spaceflight successfully launched and deployed spacecraft on the company’s next-generation Orbital Transfer Vehicle (OTV), Sherpa-FX1, aboard the SpaceX Transporter-1 mission last month.
This year, Spaceflight plans to launch multiple Sherpa vehicles in addition to many other rideshare missions, totaling more than 10 missions across the company’s global launch vehicle portfolio.
“This mission is an important milestone for Brazil, INPE and Spaceflight and it has been an honor for our team to ready the inaugural Amazonia payload for launch,” said Marcy Mabry Rugland, Senior Mission Manager at Spaceflight. “Launching a satellite of this size posed unique complexities that our team expertly orchestrated, leaning on their expertise and years of experience managing missions on the PSLV. At Spaceflight, we are committed to opening up space access for any satellite company, regardless of size, preferred orbit or budget, and to find a way to successfully launch a spacecraft while meeting specific mission needs.”
“The launch of our debut satellite for INPE is a significant achievement and we are grateful for Spaceflight’s dedication and support throughout our mission,” said Adenilson Silva, Amazonia mission responsible. “The deployment of Amazonia-1 will allow us to capture images and monitor the environment and agriculture throughout the Brazilian territory which will help us better understand the expansive terrestrial environment in the region. In addition to the technological achievements of the mission, it also represents the last step of MMP development. Spaceflight’s end-to-end launch services gives us confidence that our mission needs are managed and enables our team to fully focus on the satellite we’re preparing to launch.”
Spaceflight offers a comprehensive suite of launch services and Sherpa® orbital transfer vehicles. The company provides launch flexibility to ensure customers’ smallsats get to orbit exactly when and where they want through a combination of long-standing relationships with a diverse portfolio of launch partners, innovative satellite integration capabilities, including flight and ground support hardware, licensing and logistics management, and extensive mission management expertise. Based in Seattle, Spaceflight has successfully launched hundreds of satellites and is a part of the Mitsui & Co., Ltd. portfolio, operating as an independent, U.S.-based company.