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Isro to launch SSLV on Aug 7: All about India's smallest launch vehicle

 Isro will launch SSLV on its maiden flight on August 7 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

The SSLV will be India's answe to rising on demand satellite launch market. (Photo: Isro)
Isro will launch SSLV on its maiden flight on August 7
SSLV will carry Earth Observation Satellite-02 to space
SSLV is aimed to cater to on demand satellite launch market
In a bid to compete with the commercial satellite market, the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) is set to conduct the maiden launch of its Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) on August 7. The rocket will carry Earth Observational Satellite (EOS-02) Mission to space.

The mission will be launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 9:18 am, and Low Earth Orbit (LEO). The EOS-02 mission is a technology demonstration satellite for various new technologies with applications that include agriculture, forestry, geology, and hydrology.


The Small Satellite Launch Vehicles have been designed by the Indian space agency to attract the emerging small satellite market and provide launch-on-demand services to domestic and foreign customers.

SSLV will free Isro's workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle for bigger missions. The maiden mission is aimed to demonstrate the technological advancement made by Isro and its capability to deliver smaller payloads into low Earth Orbit.

SSLV is a brainchild of current Isro chief S Somnath, who has been known for his rocket wizardry worldwide. The SSLV has been designed to launch a payload weighing 500 kg to a 500-kilometer planar orbit. By comparison, the PSLV — the workhorse of Isro — can take up to a 1,750-kilogram payload into the Sun Synchronous Orbit at 600 km altitude.

Apart from the capability to launch up to 500 kg of satellite mass, the SSLV will have the option of multiple satellite mounting options for nano, micro, and small satellites.

SSLV stages have successfully undergone necessary ground tests. (Photo: Isro)

Weighing 110-tons, the three-stage all-solid stage vehicle is the smallest in the Isro arsenal of launchers and Isro is marketing it as one with the quickest turnaround. The rocket can be assembled and integrated in just 72 hours against other launch vehicles, which takes close to two months to reach the launch pad from the assembly building.

Isro in March conducted the ground testing of the solid booster stage (SS1) that will power the launch vehicle. Isro said that the successful testing has given it sufficient confidence to proceed with the first developmental flight of SSLV (SSLV-D1).

It is worth mentioning that the Centre has allocated Rs 169 crores for the development of the project, which is to cover the development & qualification of the vehicle systems and the flight demonstration through three development flights, SSLV-D1, SSLV-D2, and SSLV-D3.

The Ministry of Science & Technology has in the past said that the SSLV has been primarily envisaged to build a cost-effective launch vehicle with high launch frequency and quick turnaround capability in order to cater to the growing opportunity in the global launch services market for small satellites.

The maiden launch of India's much-awaited SSLV has been delayed in the past owing to the coronavirus pandemic and successive lockdowns that followed. Isro had initially planned to launch the mission in the first quarter of this year. However, the final testing took some time.

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