On November 20 (Indian Standard Time), that is coming Tuesday, the Falcon 9 rocket of Elon Musk-promoted firm SpaceX will take off its space flight from Vandenberg Air Force Base, which is about 9 miles from the United States’ California, and the rocket will carry 70 satellites from 16 countries including one from India called ‘ExceedSAT 1’, which would become the first ever private satellite from India.
Mumbai headquartered Exseed Space, the startup which has built ExceedSAT 1, will become the first Indian company to send a satellite to space. Established in 2017, Exseed Space develops small satellite platforms with a primary focus on assembly, integration, testing and operation of satellites.
The rocket is scheduled for take off at 6.32 pm (Greenwich Mean Time) on November 19, or Indian time of — November 20, 12.02 AM.
Carried on payload of SpaceX rocket mission titled ‘SSO-A’, which is largest of SpaceX so far, ExceedSAT 1 (in picture above) is 1U cube-sized (mini) communication satellite.
The startup is launching ExceedSAT 1 with an aim to provide a major boost to private radio operators after ISRO-manufactured micro-satellite, HAMSAT, ceased operations about four years ago. ExceedSAT 1 was built by the startup with the contributions of several Ham operators and with the help small firms in and around Hyderabad.
An amateur radio operator or ‘Ham’ is someone who uses equipment at an amateur radio station to engage in two-way personal communications with other amateur operators on radio frequencies assigned to the amateur radio service. Amateur radio operators have been granted an amateur radio license by a governmental regulatory authority after passing an examination on applicable regulations, electronics, radio theory, and radio operation.
Founded by Kris Nair and Farhan Ashhar, Exseed Space is also working towards setting up India’s first contract satellite manufacturing facility and once the facility gets operational, it will cater to the growing global demands of manufacturing Cubesats, Nano-sats & Micro-sats. The startup has been seed funded by Mumbai-based First Cheque, an early stage focussed fund looking to invest in 100 startups in next 5 years.
Notably, in August this year, Exseed Space was among several startups who engaged with ISRO, through its commercial arm Antrix Corp. The startup was part of to be part of a private consortium to assemble, integrate and test communication and remote sensing satellites.