PSLV-C51 launch: Shrimad Bhagavad Gita and a picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to go to space! On February 28, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is set to launch PSLV-C51, the 53rd mission of PSLV, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR at Sriharikota, if the weather conditions remain favourable. The launch vehicle is set to take to space Brazilian satellite Amazonia-1 as the primary satellite, which would be accompanied by 20 co-passenger satellites. One of these 20 co-passenger satellites is Satish Dhawan Satellite or the SD-SAT from Space Kidz India, a private organisation which launches satellites through students of high school and college.
In the days leading up to the launch, the company invited names from the general public to send to space aboard the SD-SAT, and it is sending 25,000 names to space. However, that is not the highlight. The SD-SAT would be carrying with it to space a copy of the Shrimad Bhagavad Gita.
Talking to Financial Express Online’s Bulbul Dhawan about this decision, Space Kidz India Founder and CEO Dr Srimathy Kesan said, “The Shrimad Bhagavad Gita teaches people about oneness and also tells them about managerial skills. And especially in the aftermath of the pandemic, I thought it would be a good to send a book that taught us about worldly brotherhood, and the Bhagavad Gita was the only book that I could think of.”
Along with the Bhagavad Gita, though, a picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi would also be going to space in the SD-SAT. “We are a small space company and we did not have all the facilities needed to send satellites to space. However, the opening up of the sector to the private players and us getting access to facilities and labs was a big deal. That was something that had not happened for 50 years, but it happened now. So we decided to send an image of the Prime Minister as a mark of our gratification. Apart from that, the picture is also a symbol of gratification for the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative, especially because all the components in our satellite are indigenously produced,” Dr Kesan told FE Online.
Notably, the SD-SAT would aim to study the space radiation and magnetosphere as well as demonstrate the nanosatellite components that have been designed and developed in India.