Defence

Indian space-tech startup prepares to launch 24 satellites; aims to send first one by Nov

While Elon Musk’s SpaceX made history last week by sending two astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to the International Space Station in a privately funded spacecraft, a commercial space-tech start-up in India is putting the final touches to its own ambitious plans. Bengaluru-based Pixxel is gearing up to launch its first satellite by the end of the year.

The small satellite will go in a Russian launch vehicle and will focus on high clarity satellite imagery. It would be helpful for governments and private organisations in collecting AI-powered analytical data related to agriculture, climate, spread of crop pests and diseases, defence monitoring, and mining in order to find illegal operations, monitor oil and gas pipelines, natural disasters, forest fire etc, said Awais Ahmed, founder and CEO of Pixxel.

“We were planning to launch it from Russia on a Soyuz rocket next month, but have pushed the launch to November due to coronavirus. We are planning the second satellite launch by July 2021 and to have a constellation of 24 satellites, to be launched in a gap of 3-6 months”, he said.

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