On Sunday, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is getting ready to launch its first new rocket the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
The SSLV has been developed at a cost of Rs 170 crore and has taken five years to develop. It got delayed due to the global lockdown because of Covid-19 pandemic. Once launched successfully it will put India in the elite group of countries who are dominating Space – Russia, the US and China.
When is the launch?
ISRO has announced that the launch, which can be viewed by the public from its Viewer’s Gallery, is expected to take off early Sunday morning (August 7, 2022) at around 9.18 am.
Earlier this year the ground testing of the newly developed launch vehicle was carried out and all propulsion parameters were found to be satisfactory as they matched the predictions made.
Maiden launch of SSLV
In an effort to attract the emerging small satellite market, ISRO aims to compete with the commercial market in this segment. The SSLV is the brainchild of ISRO’s chief S Somnath and will provide launch on demand services to international and domestic customers.
More about SSLV
According to information in the public domain, the newly-created solid booster stage (SS1) for SSLV is a three-segmented solid propulsion stage. And it is incorporating new technologies and advanced processes like high power electromechanical actuator with digital control electronics, an optimised igniter, bond-free joint between the segments and equipped with simultaneous propellant casting of all segments.
With a weight of 120 tonne, the new rocket is 34 meters high and has the capacity to carry about 500 kgs in a low Earth orbit of about 350-400 kms above Earth.
The Launch on Sunday
In its maiden test flight over the weekend, it will place into a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) an Earth Observation Satellite — EOS-2. This satellite will help to map out and develop various geographic information systems (GIS).
This satellite weighs around 142 kg, and has a mission life of almost 10 months. There is a mid-wavelength infrared camera, a long-wavelength infrared camera which has a resolution of 6 metres.
More about AzaadiSAT
Also on board will be a dream satellite which has been made by almost 750 rural school girls called `Azaadisat’, and it has the `Tiranga’ embossed on it.
It has a weight of 8 kgs and carries 75 miniature payloads which are referred to as the ‘Femto experiments.’ There is a selfie camera which will be used to study the performance of solar panels in space. There is an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a magnetometer, messaging system for radio operators, and sensors that monitor temperature, humidity and pressure. Will also conduct transponder experiments that will help generate low bandwidth connectivity to IOT devices at remote locations.
The idea behind the SSLV is to use it as a commercial vehicle and its cost is almost one fourth of the current Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). It can be assembled with just six people and in a week’s time as compared to PSLV which takes a few months to be assembled and more than 600 people.