Recently, Elon Musk-led US space agency SpaceX launched India’s first privately built satellite. The name of the satellite is Exceed Sat-1 made by a Mumbai startup. It was launched along with 63 other satellites from 17 countries.
After being repeatedly postponed for 10 days due to technical and weather reasons, SpaceX’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, the Falcon 9 rocket placed Exceed Sat-1 into the polar orbit.
With this launch, Mumbai based Exceed Space has become the first private commercial organization in India to have a satellite in space.
The mini communications satellite weighed just a kilogram. Its size was small as well. It was only double the size of a Rubik’s cube. The purpose of this satellite is to serve the amateur radio community. It will help in coordinating messages among them and help the country in times of disaster. This minisatellite was built in just 18 months. Exceed Sat-1 will allow people to receive signals on 145.9 Mhz frequency with the help of a TV tuner. It has also paved the way for private-funded space missions.
After the launch, Kris Nair, CEO of Exceed Space, the Mumbai startup, tweeted: “Typically it takes years and millions of dollars to put together one satellite. With the successful launch of Exceed SAT 1, the team has now demonstrated that it is possible to build reliable commercial-grade spacecraft in a matter of months without spending a lot of money.”
Exceed Sat 1 has broken ISRO’s monopoly. But ISRO itself wanted private players to enter the space market and form a consortium to undertake satellite and rocket manufacture work so that it can focus on Research and Development related things.