New Delhi: A copy of the Bhagavad Gita, a photograph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the names of 25,000 individuals will be carried to space by the Satish Dhawan Satellite, or SD SAT, to be launched at the end of the month by the polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV).
The nanosatellite, named after one of the founding fathers of India’s space programme and developed by SpaceKidz India, an organisation dedicated to promoting space science among students, will also carry three scientific payloads; to study space radiation, to study the magnetosphere, and the third 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,” Dr Srimathy Kesan, founder and CEO of SpaceKidz India was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times (HT).
The people who sent in their names were given a “boarding pass”.
Kesan added that they decided to send a copy of the Bhagvad Gita to space on the lines of other space missions that have carried holy books such as the Bible. “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 been etched on the bottom panel, the report added.