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SpaceX rocket ferries Tata’s military-grade TSAT-1A into orbit

The made-in-India TSAT-1A satellite will deliver high-resolution optical satellite images that can be used for surveillance by the armed forces

SpaceX rocket ferries Tata’s military-grade TSAT-1A into orbit
[Source photo: Chetan Jha/Press Insider]

Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL) on Monday announced the successful deployment in space of its TSAT-1A satellite aboard SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket’s Bandwagon-1 mission. 

TSAT-1A was assembled at TASL’s assembly, integration and testing plant in Vemagal, Karnataka. The project is a collaboration between the Tata group company and Satellogic Inc, a company specializing in developing earth observation (EO) satellites. 

The two companies signed a collaboration agreement in November, leveraging Satellogic’s expertise to develop and integrate an advanced EO satellite in India and TASL’s capability to undertake complex system integration.

TSAT-1A will deliver high-resolution optical satellite images with increased collection capacity, dynamic range, and low-latency delivery through its multispectral and hyperspectral capabilities. The satellite’s high-resolution images can be used for surveillance by the armed forces.

Along with TSAT-1A, SpaceX launched 10 other satellites on its first-ever Bandwagon-1 class rideshare mission. 

Sukaran Singh, chief executive officer (CEO) and managing director, TASL, said, “This milestone shows TASL’s commitment to the space sector. This is a first step. Our partnership with Satellogic has enabled us to deliver an assembled and tested in India, best-in-class, fully integrated sub-meter optical satellite which was launched aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket for the Bandwagon-1 mission. We are grateful for the support we have received from various Indian Government authorities for required permissions.”

TASL, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Sons Ltd, is a significant player for aerospace and defense solutions in India, providing a full range of integrated solutions across aerostructures and aero engines, airborne platforms and systems, defense and security, and land mobility. 

Emiliano Kargieman, CEO of Satellogic, said: “This illustrates the flexibility of Satellogic’s Space Systems program, offering governments and enterprises the ability to tailor a proven satellite model for their specific needs, and reach orbit within a favorable timeframe.”

Uruguay-based Satellogic provided industry knowledge, foundational components, IP licensing terms, and support in constructing an assembly, integration and testing facility in India.

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