Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV)

The new chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation Dr S Somanath indicated at a meeting with the minister of state for space Jitendra Singh Tuesday that ISRO’s indigenous new launch rockets, called the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV), will have its much-delayed, maiden development flight this April.

The ISRO chairman has mentioned the launch of an “SSLV-D1 Micro SAT in April 2022.”

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.

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.

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