With private firms such as Amazon, SpaceX and One Web building satellites to improve global connectivity, India is not far behind, with plans to expand their reach as far as outer space. Taking cues from these companies, a group of Indian students from various prestigious universities across the country collaborated to conceptualise, design, and develop a constellation of 75 satellites. These satellites will be launched this year around August end to propel the country forward in the rising space race in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) region. In this article we will discuss in detail about UNITYSat  and its significance.

This topic is significant for numerous government examinations as part of current events, and it is covered in GS Paper III- Science and Technology of the UPSC IAS Exam.

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About UNITYSat

  • UNITYSat is a space mission launched by a group of young Indian intellectuals from Chandigarh University, the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, and 11 other universities.
  • The satellite constellation was custom-designed to mark India’s 75th year of independence and is intended to move the country forward in the race to achieve Lower Earth Orbit (LEO).
  • The student-led expedition has been in the works since 2020, with the goal of promoting the Internet of Things (IoT) in space.
  • The satellite constellation will remain in Lower Earth Orbit for two to four years.

Read about LEO and other orbits in the linked article. Also, Learn about Internet Of Things (IoT) by visiting the attached link.

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Associated Organisation of the Mission

This space project will be managed by the Indian Technology Congress Association (ITCA) in collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). ISRO is in charge of launching this mission as soon as the satellites are ready to travel to LEO.

Also read the List of Indian Satellites From 1975 to 2021 on the given link.

Purpose of UNITYSat

  • UNITYsat will be the first long-distance inter-satellite and ground communication system to demonstrate IoT in space.
  • This mission is also intended to provide new insights into the materials required to construct, test, and deploy a satellite constellation.
  • This satellite project will also provide live audio streaming and broadcasting from the low-Earth orbit (LEO) zone as the satellites pass over India. 
  • The satellite constellation will remain in Lower Earth Orbit for two to four years.

Launch Of UNITYSat

The space mission will be launched a week before India’s 75th Independence Day by a group of Indian students to commemorate the country’s 75th year of independence. India has already launched 50 satellites in a single mission, and it is likely that this mission would follow suit. The final decision on which Rocket Launcher to utilise is still being made and will be made by the end of July or the beginning of August.

Go through the information on the Satellite Launch Vehicle Program on the linked page. Detailed information on Gaganyaan Mission is available on the linked page.

Concern of the Mission

Concerns have been raised regarding the addition of junk to space because the 75 satellites are scheduled to remain operational for a period of 2-4 years. Since the 1950s, there has been an increasing public uproar about the accumulation of rubbish in Low Earth Orbit, where hundreds of thousands of satellites are stationed. The Chinese government recently told the United Nations General Assembly about potential collisions that were avoided between their under-construction space station and a SpaceX Starlink constellation.

Read in details about the Space Debris- RSTV- In Depth in the linked article.

Note: As UPSC 2022 approaches, use BYJU’S free Daily Video Analysis of The Hindu Newspaper to augment your preparation.

Related Links-

India’s first indigenously developed rocket RH-75 was launched Launch of satellite ‘Aryabhatta’
Bhaskara-I was launched by ISRO Indian communications satellite INSAT-1B launched
Mangalyaan launched by ISRO Chandrayaan-1 was launched


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