An Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle placed Brazil’s Amazonia 1 satellite into orbit Sunday to begin a mission monitoring deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, then released 18 smaller spacecraft at a lower altitude, marking a successful start to India’s 2021 launch schedule that could see as many as seven orbital-class rocket missions.
A Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle lifted off Saturday with India’s EOS 1 radar imaging satellite and nine rideshare payloads for customers based in the United States, Luxembourg, and Lithuania. The successful mission was India’s first launch in nearly a year due to delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The announcement Monday of the discovery of phosphine gas in the clouds of Venus — an indicator of possible life — has raised hopes among scientists for new robotic missions to renew exploration of Earth’s planetary neighbor. If Rocket Lab founder Peter Beck gets his way, a privately-funded mission could get the next crack at probing Venus’s soupy atmosphere.