News Brief

ISRO To Transfer Small Satellite Launch Vehicle To Private Sector To Meet Growing Demand

Swarajya News Staff

Jul 10, 2023, 02:24 PM | Updated 02:24 PM IST

ISRO's SSLV (Pic Via Twitter)
ISRO's SSLV (Pic Via Twitter)

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced on Monday (10 July) that it will be transferring its Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) to the private sector.

This decision comes in response to the growing demand for small satellites.

The SSLV, which has already undergone two development flights, is designed to provide on-demand services for launching satellites weighing up to 500 kg into a low-earth orbit.

During the inauguration ceremony of the India Space Congress organized by SIA India, ISRO chairman S Somanath said, "We have built our own SSLV which will be transferred to the industry and produced in large numbers to meet the growing demand," reports news agency PTI.

To facilitate the transfer of the SSLV to the industry, ISRO has decided to opt for the bidding route, according to a senior official cited by PTI.

The SSLV is the sixth launch vehicle developed by ISRO. It has already undergone two development flights, one in August last year and another in February this year.

The maiden flight of the SSLV in August last year encountered a failure due to vibration disturbance for a short duration on the Equipment Bay deck during the second-stage separation.

After conducting a thorough analysis of the fault, the ISRO implemented corrective measures and successfully launched the SSLV in February.

During the launch in February, the SSLV placed the ISRO's EOS-07 satellite, US-based firm Antaris' Janus-1, and AzaadiSAT-2 from Chennai-based space start-up Space Kidz into a 450-km circular orbit.

Designed for nano and micro-satellites, weighing less than 10 kg and 100 kg respectively, small rockets like the SSLV offer on-demand launch services without the need for clients to wait for larger rockets to carry them as co-passengers.

A consortium of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Larsen and Toubro was awarded a contract by the ISRO last year to build five polar satellite launch vehicles (PSLVs), the warhorse rocket of the Indian space agency that has a successful track record with 54 launches.

The SSLV is the sixth launch vehicle developed by the ISRO, following the Satellite Launch Vehicle-3 (SLV-3), Advanced Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV), Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), and Launch Vehicle Mark-3 (LVM-3). The SLV-3 and the ASLV have already been retired.

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