If things go as per planned schedule on Saturday, Hyderabad-based Dhruva Space will become the first privately-owned Indian company in the country to build a satellite by itself. It’s two nanosatellites, Thybolt-1 and Thybolt-2 are to be launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation at 11.56 am today. Hours before launch, the atmosphere at Dhruva Space’s office in Begumpet, Hyderabad, was a mix of excitement, nervousness, tension and happiness. Just last week, another city-based spacetech startup, Skyroot Aerospace, had launched India’s first private rocket.
Thybolt-1 and Thybolt-2 can be used for low data rate communication that could be used for connecting with remote locations for soil monitoring and crop quality on farms, detection and instant notification of leaks on pipelines, availability of parking spaces, supply chain monitoring, forest fire detection to name a few. Chaitanya Dora Surapureddy, a member of the founding team at Dhruva Space said, “ISRO has made great strides in the space sector. However, we don’t have organisations that make satellites commercial. We have built our satellites at a cost which is multiple times cheaper than those built in the western countries. That would help India get a bigger pie in the global space market.”
Dhruva Space was founded by Sanjay Nekkanti in 2012. He was one of the students of seven engineering colleges from Hyderabad and Bengaluru who built StudSat that was launched in 2010. In 2019, he was joined by his college-time friends Krishna Teja Penamakuru, Abhay Egoor and Surapureddy.