Meet the people behind Dhruva Space that made its space debut on Saturday


India on Saturday successfully placed into orbit the Indo-French ocean observation satellite EOS 06 and eight other nano satellites with its rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle numbered as PSLV-C54.

Announcing the mission’s success, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman and Secretary, Department of Space, S. Somanath, said all the satellites have been launched.

He also said the solar panels of EOS 06 satellite had been deployed and the satellite was in precise orbit as intended and congratulated the ISRO team.

The XL variant of PSLV rocket carrying the 1,117 kg EOS-6 as its primary passenger and eight others – blasted off from the first launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) here at 11.56 a.m.

The piggybacks include satellites from two Indian startups – Syzygy Space Technologies Pvt Ltd, commonly known as Pixxel (Anand-16.51 kg), and Dhruvaspace’s two Thybolt satellites – 1.45 kg, Spaceflight USA’s Astrosat (four numbers 17.92 kg) and ISRO’s INS-2B (18.28 kg).

About 17 minutes into the flight the rocket ejected EOS-6. Then the orbit was changed by using two Orbit Change Thrusters introduced in the rocket’s propulsion bay ring. The piggyback passengers were ejected in Orbit-2.

The whole mission took about two hours.

With this, the PSLV rocket has put into orbit 349 foreign satellites till date.

Hyderabad-based satellite company Dhruva Space was founded in 2012 by four persons: Sanjay Nekkanti, CEO; Krishna Teja Penamakuru, COO; Abhay Egoor, CTO; and Chaitanya Dora Surapureddy, CFO.

Nekkanti is a B.Tech in Electronics and Telecommunications from SRM University and M.Sc in Space Science and Technology. He has worked in Comsat Systems, Exseed Space and also advises a couple of companies.

Penamakuru is a BE Computer Science graduate from Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani and Masters in Computer Science from Arizona University, USA.

Starting his career as an intern at Transgraph Consulting in Hyderabad, Penamakuru has worked in TeamF1, Cisco, Savitri Aquamonk and then joined Dhruva.

Egoor, also an Electrical and Electronics engineer from BITS Pilani, had worked in Sirius Embedded Software Pvt. Ltd, and co-founded Thybolt in 2016.

At Dhruva, Egoor is responsible for design and development of the space avionics, establishing key partnerships and collaborations with the industry, outlining the goals for R&D and laying down the technology roadmap of the company.

On his part, Surapureddy is a BE and MSc from BITS Pilani who did his internship at NALCO, Ranbaxy, Grasim and then joined Jagadeesh Marine Exports, Safe Water Network and co-founded Thybolt (which was merged with Dhruva Space).

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