If reports are anything to go by, at the end of the month, a new satellite will carry on it a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, a photograph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the names of 25,000 individuals to space.
The nanosatellite, to be specific, that has been developed by SpaceKidz India, an organization for promoting space science among students, will also carry three scientific payloads — one to study space radiation, one to study the magnetosphere, and another that will demonstrate a low-power wide-area communication network.
“There is a lot of excitement in the group right now. This will be our first satellite to be deployed in space. When we finalised the mission, we asked people to send in their names that will be sent to space. And, within a week we received 25,000 entries. Of these, 1,000 names were sent in by people from outside India. There is a school in Chennai that sent in the names of everyone. We decided to do this because it will spark interest of the people in the mission and space science,” said Dr Srimathy Kesan, founder and CEO of SpaceKidz India.
Kesan further added that they plan to send a copy of Bhagavad Gita to space in line with the idea of other Holy books that, over the years, have been sent to space.
“We have also added the name and photograph of the prime minister on the top panel with the words Atmanirbhar mission. This satellite has been completely developed and fabricated in India, including the electronics and circuitry,” she said.
The names of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairperson Dr K Sivan and scientific secretary Dr R Umamaheswaran have also been carved on the satellite.
The satellite reached the space station, Sriharikota on Sunday. It will go under some design changes before the launch. “We are conducting last-minute checks before sending over the satellite. We had to re-do the solar panel on the satellites after testing at ISRO because there was a problem with the resin and there was bulge on a few cells. But it was thought that the entire thing might ooze out in space in two to three days,” said Kesan.
This, for the unaware, would be one of the two private satellites that ISRO will launch for the first time. ISRO had opened up the space sector to private entities in June 2020.