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ISRO to undertake maiden flight of SSLV on August 7

“The launch of the SSLV-D1/EOS-02 Mission is scheduled for Sunday, August 7, 2022, at 9:18 am (IST) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota,” the space agency said on Twitter.

ISRO has invited citizens to the Launch View Gallery at SDSC to witness the launch on August 7 through online registration. (Twitter/ISRO)

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will undertake the maiden flight of its newly developed Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) on August 7, ahead of Independence Day celebration.

“The launch of the SSLV-D1/EOS-02 Mission is scheduled for Sunday, August 7, 2022, at 9:18 am (IST) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota,” the space agency said on Twitter.

This is significant given that India was set to celebrate 75th Independence Day with the first human spaceflight, as per the deadline set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort on Independence day, 2018.

The work on Gaganyaan mission, country’s first manned flight to space, was delayed due to the pandemic, with the first abort test scheduled for later this year, to demonstrate the crew escape system to be used in case of an emergency mid-flight.

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The SSLV mission too was delayed by a couple of years due to the pandemic. Experts believed that this could hamper the economic prospects of the space agency in the global space market as the new launch vehicle has been designed keeping in mind commercial launches of small satellites with a quick turn-around time for the missions.

On its first flight, the SSLV will carry one of India’s Earth Observation Satellites – EOS-2 – that will have applications in mapping and developing various GIS applications.

It will carry a mid-wavelength infrared camera and a long-wavelength infrared camera with a resolution of 6 metres. The satellite, weighing 142 kg, will have a mission life of ten months.

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“The SSLV launch was long overdue. It will shift the burden of commercial launches from Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles (PSLV). And, will likely offer cheap, quick launch for small satellites. ISRO should have the wherewithal to do that, especially now that space startups are being encouraged,” said Ajey Lele, senior fellow at Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses.

In its maiden flight itself, SSLV will also carry the AzadiSat, a satellite developed by 750 rural students from across the country coordinated by SpaceKidz India, a space start-up.

The satellite was shipped to Sriharikota on Monday, ready for integration with the launch vehicle.

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Primarily designed as a commercial vehicle, the SSLV is likely to cost a fourth of the current PSLV. It can also be assembled by a team of six people within seven days in comparison to a team of 600 people who take a couple of months to assemble a PSLV.

First published on: 01-08-2022 at 09:46:18 pm
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