ISRO will undertake the maiden flight of its newly developed Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) on August 7.
- On its first flight, the SSLV will carry one of India’s Earth Observation Satellites – EOS-2 – that will have applications in mapping and developing various GIS applications.
- It will also carry the AzadiSat, a satellite developed by 750 rural students from across the country coordinated by SpaceKidz India.
- SpaceKidz India is a space start-up creating “Young scientists” for the “Country” and spreading awareness among children for a “borderless world”.
- It claims to be the 1st organisation in the World to have launched Satellites through high school and college students.
Need of SSLV-
- The SSLV is intended to cater to a market for the launch of small satellites into low earth orbits which has emerged in recent years on account of the need for developing countries, private corporations, and universities for small satellites.
- The launch of small satellites has until now been dependent on ‘piggy-back’ rides with big satellite launches on ISRO’s work-horse – the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle which has had over 50 successful launches so far.
- The launch of small satellites as a consequence has been dependent on the finalising of launch contracts for the larger satellites by ISRO.
About SSLV –
- SSLV is a rocket that is designed to orbit satellites weighing less than 500kg in Low Earth Orbit and 300 kg to Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO).
- It is a three-stage Launch Vehicle configured with three Solid Propulsion Stages and liquid propulsion-based Velocity Trimming Module (VTM) as a terminal stage.
- The SSLV can carry satellites weighing up to 500 kg to a low earth orbit while the tried and tested PSLV can launch satellites weighing in the range of 1000 kg.
- The SSLV is the smallest vehicle at 110-ton mass at ISRO. It will take only 72 hours to integrate, unlike the 70 days taken now for a launch vehicle. Only six people will be required to do the job, instead of 60 people. The entire job will be done in a very short time and the cost will be only around Rs 30 crore. It will be an on-demand vehicle.
- SSLV is perfectly suited for launching multiple microsatellites at a time and supports multiple orbital drop-offs.
- The development and manufacture of the SSLV are expected to create greater synergy between the space sector and private Indian industries – a key aim of the space ministry.
- Indian industry has a consortium for the production of PSLV and should come together to produce the SSLV as well once it is tested, ISRO has stated in the past.