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Spaceflight Sets Launch Date for its Largest Satellite Passenger

By | February 17, 2021

The Amazonia-1 satellite and the PSLV rocket (photos by Spaceflight and ISRO)

Spaceflight Inc. will launch its largest satellite to date at the end of the month, the company confirmed Wednesday. The rideshare company, which is famous for booking entire rockets for large payloads of small satellites, selected NewSpace India to send Brazil’s 700-kilogram Amazonia-1 spacecraft into orbit on a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket.

NewSpace India, the commercial arm of India’s ISRO space agency, scheduled the Amazonia-1 mission to take off from the Satish Dhawan Space Center, in Sriharikota, India, on Feb. 28th.

“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,” Spaceflight Senior Mission Manager Marcy Mabry Rugland said in the launch date announcement.

The Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE) produced Amazonia-1 as a Sun-synchronous Earth Observation (EO) satellite dedicated to space research and exploration. It is the first EO satellite to be completely designed, integrated, tested and operated in Brazil. Its design is based on the Brazilian Multi Mission Platform (MMP) service bus for 500-kilogram class satellites.

“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,” said Adenilson Silva, INPE’s Amazonia mission leader.

The Amazonia-1 launch is part of a multi-year contract Spaceflight signed with INPE in December 2018. After rolling out its next-generation Sherpa last-mile delivery vehicle in November, Spaceflight finds itself at the beginning of a busy 2021 launch schedule. The company plans to execute more than 10 rideshare missions across its global launch vehicle portfolio by the end of the year.