ISRO’s new SSLV small satellite launcher debuts – mission success unclear

The Indian space program’s new small satellite launcher, the SSLV or Small Satellite Launch Vehicle, conducted its launch debut from Sriharikota, India on Sunday, August 7 at 03:48 UTC. However, data issues surrounding the fourth stage resulted in an unclear situation with the success of the mission. The SSLV program’s genesis was a December 2015 National Institute of Advanced Studies proposal to create a “Small Satellite Launch Vehicle-1” to launch small national security payloads on demand and with a lower cost and higher cadence than the Indian Space Research Organisation’s existing rockets could provide. In 2016, the director of ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre spoke at India’s National Space Science Symposium stating the need for a cost-effective launch vehicle capable of launching 500 kilograms to low Earth orbit. The SSLV program started in late 2017 in response to these calls for a small satellite launcher. Approximately one year later, the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) had finished the design of the vehicle, which is 34 meters tall, two meters in diameter, and weighs 120 tons. The SSLV has three solid-fueled stages and a fourth stage known as the Velocity Trimming Module. The VTM, which uses storable liquid monomethylhydrazine…

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ISRO’s new SSLV small satellite launcher debuts – mission success unclear

Updated: August 6, 2022 — 10:27 pm