Bengaluru: A new chapter will be added to India’s space history as Spacekidz, an Indian startup, will be launching a satellite later this month. 

What is more interesting is that it will carry a photo of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a copy of Bhagavad Gita and the names of 255,000 Indians. 

Reports add that the satellite is named after Satish Dhawan, who was one of the founders of the Indian Space Programme, and it will be launched by the polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV). 

Hindustan Times reports that the satellite will be sent to space as part of the PSLV-C51 mission. It will also carry Brazil’s earth observation satellite Amazonia-1 as the primary satellite along with 20 co-passenger satellites, including a nanosatellite from the ISRO, three UnitySats by an academic consortium and a demonstration satellite by another start-up named Pixxel, incorporated as Syzygy Space Technologies.

Pixxel reportedly plans to create a constellation of 30 earth observation satellites by December 2022 that will provide global coverage every 24 hours. This is one of the two satellites developed by Indian startups that will be launched by the ISRO. ISRO had opened the space sector for private entities in June last year.

OpIndia quoted Dr Srimathy Kesan, the founder and CEO of SpaceKidz India, as saying, “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. We decided to do this because it will spark people’s interest in the mission and space science”. 

ISRO had suggested a few changes in the satellite. The changes have been incorporated as well.