The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on August 7 will launch its smallest commercial rocket Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) to put in orbit two satellites, offering cheap rides to space and eyeing a share in the burgeoning small satellite launch market. The 34-metre Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) is 10 metres shorter than ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and can put payloads up to 500 kg into 500 km planar orbit.
In its launch, the SSLV will place in orbit the 145 kg Earth Observation-2 satellite and AzaadiSat, an eight kg cubesat designed by 750 girl students from government schools across the country, to mark the 75th anniversary of Indiaâ€™s independence. This satellite has 75 Femto experiments, selfie cameras to click pictures of its own solar panels and long-range communication transponders.The project, with a mission life of six months, is part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations, to mark the 75th anniversary of Independence.
“This is the first of its kind space mission with an all-women concept to promote women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) as this year’s UN theme is ‘Women in Space’,” Rifath Sharook, Chief Technology Officer at Space Kidz India, which has developed the satellite, told PTI. The SSLV D-1 will soar into the skies at 9.18 am from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on Sunday, August 7, and place in orbit the two payloads at the end of its 13.2 minute flight. The SSLV is 34 metres in height with a vehicle diameter of two metres and a lift off mass of 120 tonnes.
“The SSLV is a ready to transfer vehicle with modular and unified systems and with standard interfaces for end-to-end industrial production,” an ISRO official said. The SSLV also has multi-satellite accommodation with a multi-satellite adapter deck and a digital control system with fully indigenous electro-mechanical actuators.