IISc-Incubated SpaceTech Co. Digantara Launches Satellite Aboard SpaceX Rocket

Digantara, an Indian Space Technology Company incubated at Indian Institute of Science (IISc), has successfully launched its second satellite named Pushan-Alpha onboard SpaceX's Transporter 6 mission on January 3.

The satellite reached low Earth orbit from Cape Canaveral in Florida, US. The nano-satellite will operate precisely in a sun-synchronous orbit (SSO) and monitor space weather.

Digantara's first mission was launched on June 30 last year by ISRO's PSLV-C53. It is the world's first commercial space-based space weather monitoring system. The Pushan-Alpha mission is named after the Hindu Vedic solar deity — Pushan, who is considered the god of travel and protector of travelers.

Digantara's Pushan-Alpha in the SSO will be used for enhancing space situational awareness (SSA) applications.

Space Situational Awareness (SSA) refers to the knowledge of the space environment, including location and function of space objects and space weather phenomena. SSA is generally understood as covering three main areas: Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) of man-made objects.

Digantara is establishing a space-based surveillance platform with global realtime earth coverage by deploying a constellation of cost-efficient nanosatellites in LEO (Low Earth Orbit) along with precise modelling through an AI-ML based algorithm to provide predictive and robust space-based situational awareness services.

Last year, Pixxel launched its Anand satellite from another SpaceX rocket, and Dhruva Space launched their Thybolt satellites from an ISRO launch vehicle. 

In November, Hyderabad based Skyroot launched its indigenously built Rocket Vikram S, with support from Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center (IN-SPACe), the commercial arm of ISRO. 

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