PSLV-C54 launch successful: Dhruva nano satellites made in Hyderabad placed in orbit
This launch complements Skyroot Aerospace's historic launch of its Vikram-S rocket, which made the startup the first private participant to launch a rocket into space
HYDERABAD: Eight nanosatellites, including two nanosatellites, Thybolt 1 and Thybolt 2, from Hyderabad-based Dhruva Space, were successfully launched into space by the Indian Space Research Organization's(ISRO) PSLV-C54 on Saturday.
Dhruva Space, which is Hyderabad based, is the first private enterprise to manufacture satellites, adding another feather to Hyderabad's cap. This launch compliments Skyroot Aerospace's historic launch of its Vikram-S rocket, which made the startup the first private participant to launch a rocket into space.
The atmosphere at Dhruva Space's headquarters in Begumpet, Hyderabad, is a mix of excitement, nervousness, tension, and happiness among the 40-plus engineers and business development executives who were eagerly awaiting the launch of India's first privately-owned satellites.
A dynamic mentorship and partnership with ISRO over the years led up to June 24, when Dhruva Space became one of the first private companies to receive IN-SPACe authorization ahead of the startup's DSOD 1U Mission with ISRO's PSLV C53 launch.
With the space-qualification of Dhruva Space's 1U DSOD, this launch mission was a huge success for Team Dhruva Space.
The Thybolt Mission aims to validate Dhruva Space's P-DoT Satellite Platform and allow many more amateur radio enthusiasts to join the company's first satellite mission by operating, testing, and learning.
Dhruva Space, which was established in 2012 by Sanjay Nekkanti, Krishna Teja Penamakuru, Abhay Egoor, and Chaitanya Dora Supureddy, received the National Startup Award from the Indian government in October 2020 for its work in satellite and space technology.
There are three factors contributing to the growth in participation of private firms in the space sector: policy, access to capital, and growth in the general ecosystem to serve markets outside of India. All this is fuelled by the tremendous growth of requirements for satellites globally, said Sanjay Nekkanti, CEO, Dhruva Space.
He says the current government has been very forthcoming in bringing about an interesting revolution where private players experience a level playing field in trying to support not just local requirements but also global requirements too—one of Dhruva Space's primary goals.
"We anticipate this to encourage individuals, institutions, and corporations to embrace the knowledge that amateur radio can contribute to their overall development," says Nekkanti, who is also an amateur radio operator.
"A key to commercial success in the Space industry is the flight heritage of the systems. India is known for its thriving IT industry and its well-positioned Space programme, the latter for which 400
assemblies have demonstrated active and continual support over the last 50 to 60 years. India has about 80 space assets while the United States has around 1650 and China has roughly 450. These figures will increase tremendously in the coming years, fuelling growth for satellite-enabled services. Satellites already play a vital role in the communications of everyone's quotidian lives, so the imminent growth will enhance this role," starts Sanjay Nekkanti, CEO, Dhruva Space.
Skyroot's Pawan Chandana, who shared the joy of Dhruva's success tweeted: "It was very exciting to watch the livestream of today's PSLV @isro launch along with@DhruvaSpace team at #Hyderabad on a PVR screen. Big congrats to them on their successful deployment of Thybolt-1&2 satellites into Orbit👏🏻Our Indian space startups are on a roll this year!!!''