Why in News:
- The ISRO said the maiden flight of newly developed Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) can be termed as a partial success, with the three solid fuel-based propulsion stages working normally but the satellites getting injected into a wrong elliptical orbit owing to failure of logic to identify a sensor failure.
- The new rocket was carrying an Indian Earth Observation Satellite EOS-02 weighing 145 kg and AzaadiSat, made by 750 school girls to celebrate the 75 years of independence under SpaceKidz India.
- The SSLV, which uses three solid fuel-based stages and a liquid fuel-based velocity trimming module (VTM) to place the satellite in orbit, was designed keeping in mind the quick turnaround time needed for commercial launch.
- The SSLV can put payloads (mini, micro or nanosatellites) weighing upto 500 kg into the lower earth orbits (up to altitudes of 1,000 km from earth’s surface)
- It is a rocket that can be assembled within 72 hours by a team of just 5-6 people. It is a rocket that costs at least one-tenth of those currently in use. It caters specifically to the small and micro satellites that constitute over 90 percent of all satellites being launched these days.
- With a weight of about 110 tonnes, it is the smallest vehicle. It will only take 72 hours to integrate, as opposed to the 70 days it now takes for a launch vehicle.
- It will be used for tiny satellites like nanosats and cubesats. The SSLV’s cargo capacity in Lower Earth Orbit (LEO) will be 500-700 kg, which is less than one-third the weight of the PLSV.
- It is capable of launching satellites weighing up to 500-700 kg into 500 km Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and 300 kg into Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO).
- The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) can launch satellites weighing up to 1000 kg.
- The SSLV aims to cater to the market for the launch of small satellites into Earth’s low orbits that has emerged in recent years to cater to the needs of developing countries, universities for small satellites, and private corporations.
- Small satellite launches have so far depended on ‘piggy-back’ rides with big satellite launches on the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). As a result, small satellite launches have relied on ISRO finalising launch contracts for larger satellites.
- It’s ideal for simultaneously launching numerous microsatellites and supporting multiple orbital drop-offs.
- Low cost, reduced turn-around time, flexibility in supporting many satellites, launch on demand capability, minimum launch infrastructure needs, etc..
- The SSLV’s development and production are anticipated to foster increased collaboration between the space industry and private Indian enterprises, which is a primary goal of the space ministry.
- One of the missions of the newly formed ISRO commercial branch, New Space India Limited (NSIL), is to mass-produce and manufacture the SSLV and the more powerful PSLV in India through knowledge transfers in collaboration with the corporate sector.
About Indian Earth Observation Satellite
- The EOS-02 is an experimental optical remote sensing satellite with a high spatial resolution. It is to realise and fly an experimental imaging satellite with a short-turnaround time and to demonstrate launch-on-demand capability.