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2018: India’s first private satellite
The heat waves of what is being touted as the deadliest wildfire to scorch California are being felt in distant Hyderabad.
For, the scorcher has scuttled, albeit temporarily, a Hyderabadi’s efforts to put India’s first private satellite – ExseedSat-1 – into space.
The satellite was to be launched on November 19 by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, a private California-based aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services player, but had to be put off due to the wildfire raging across California.
With the blaze now doused, the multifunctional UHF/VHF NBFM amateur communication satellite is expected to blast off into space by Tuesday if everything falls in place.
“Due to the California wildfire, the project got delayed. It was then supposed to take place on Friday (November 30) but got postponed again. We are now hopeful that it will be launched from California on Monday night or in the early hours of Tuesday and I will be manning my ground station from India,” said Ashhar Farhan, co-founder, Exseed Space.
The Hyderabad resident, who founded Exseed Space along with Kris Nair in Mumbai and is also the founder of the cultural hub Lamakaan in Hyderabad, told STOI that he would share the remaining details of the private satellite developed by their startup to give a boost to private radio operators.
“Our first mission is scheduled for November 2018 on Falcon 9 making us the first private Indian company to send a satellite. We are also part of the private consortium who won the historic AIT bid to build large satellites for the Indian government,” the Exseed Space website states. Interestingly, in the runup to the launch of Exseed-Sat-1, Farhan got a call from Hyderabad police in connection with the launch of his company’s satellite.
Kulsumpura inspector, P Shankar, told STOI that nearly 15 days ago they registered a case under the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act after they received a complaint from a Ziaguda resident. The complainant, Raju, alleged that a visual accompanying a story in a local newspaper about the upcoming Exseed Space satellite launch showed a lower number of spokes in the Ashok Chakra (instead of the actual 24) on the tricolour along with an image of the satellite.
When Farhan visited the Kulsumpura police station on Friday to give his reply, he clarified that the visual of a satellite that the complaint is referring to does not relate to Exseed. “It was a telephonic conversation I had with a representative of that newspaper. I have no knowledge why that visual was used. In fact, Exseed Space has not used the Indian flag on its satellite as it is a commercial satellite,” Farhan said.
…launched by Space X of the USA
India’s first pvt sat launched
Satellite Built By Mumbai Start-Up Put Into Space By Musk’s Co
At the stroke of midnight on December 3, 2018, Elon Musk-led US space agency Space X launched India’s first privately built satellite ExseedSAT 1 along with 63 other satellites from 17 countries. After being repeatedly postponed for 10 days due to technical and weather reasons, Space X’s Falcon 9 rocket took off at 12.10 am on Tuesday from the Vandenberg air force base in California. Over 43 minutes after the launch, Falcon 9 placed ExseedSat-1 into the polar orbit.
The mini communication satellite weighing just a kilo and just double the size of a Rubik’s cube (10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm) is made up of aluminium alloy. The satellite, brainchild of a Mumbaibased start-up Exseed Space, looks to serve the amateur radio community. ExseedSAT 1 was built at a cost of Rs 2 crore. The satellite with a lifespan of five years will allow people to receive signals on 145.9 Mhz frequency with the help of a TV tuner. Built in just 18 months, ExseedSAT 1 has paved the way for privatefunded space missions.
Amid the hustle-bustle of Linking Road in Mumbai’s Santa Cruz, a shopping area, Exseed Sat-1 was planned in an office just off the main road. Exseed Space CEO Kris Nair told TOI that the satellite would provide a big boost to private radio operators and help in coordinating messages among them and help the country in times of disaster. Explaining the reason for not launching it from Indian soil, Nair said Exceed Space decided to fly the satellite from the US as Space X had a slot available.
Nair said there were between 200 and 300 companies supplying components to Isro. “These organisations played a major role in our space programme. We want to go a step further and set up a fullfledged space company dealing in satellites. The focus will be on offering space-based solutions in various sectors like agriculture,’’ he said.