In 2018, ITCA and a few notable space scientists fostered the notion of building SmallSats by students from Indian educational institutions. At the Indian Technology Congress in September 2019, this audacious ambition was transformed into a vision and became the 75 Students' Satellites Mission-2022. The programme aims to have students from various universities/institutions build and launch 75 satellites into low earth orbit (LEO) to commemorate 75 years of Indian Independence (Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, 1947-2022).
The first three student-built satellites known as UNITYSat were successfully developed and deployed with this background. UNITYSat's resounding success opened the door for a plethora of satellite developmental possibilities that leveraged the domain knowledge garnered in SmallSat platforms.
With this fulfilment, ITCA mentored and promoted two spin-off companies, TSC Technologies in India and TMISAT in Israel, in 2020, to apply its SpaceTech team's research and consultancy breakthroughs to the development of SmallSats. Thanks to our partners who collaborated and assisted in developing this humongous mission, the expansion of cooperating universities / Institutions, industry, and R&D labs is clearly visible. It has been further accelerated by continuous innovation in manufacturing better Satellites systems.
The aspirational and ambitious Mission 2022, which aims to launch 75 student-built satellites into orbit, has been well structured within a participatory ecosystem building on the combined domain expertise of competent and experienced Indian Space Engineers working in collaboration with leading global SpaceTech organizations. Thanks to the fervent initial backing of organizations/agencies from Israel, Russia, Serbia, and Japan, the mission has expanded today, with over 50+ countries contributing to build strong capabilities in academic institutions for the design and development of student built SmallSats.
Among the many mission objectives, the greater emphasis is on academia focusing on science-based education and experience-based learning, to foster an innovation culture in the country and train the future workforce in the ever-expanding space arena and allied sectors.
The mission's purpose is to educate students on how to design, develop, manufacture, integrate, test, launch, and monitor SmallSats through hands-on learning, besides serving in NewSpace research programmes and a workforce development initiatives. To that end, ITCA has devised a rigorous systems engineering and project management approach to ensure the successful deployment of SmallSats by students under active expert supervision.