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Second development flight of Small Satellite Launch Vehicle likely this year

October 12, 2022 07:35 pm | Updated 07:35 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

It will carry an Indian earth observation satellite

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to have the second development flight of the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) this year itself.

The maiden development flight, the SSLV-D1/EOS-2 mission, in August this year had been a disappointment after it failed to place the two satellites on board in the correct orbit.

Like its predecessor, the second mission too will carry an Indian earth observation satellite (EOS), S. Somanath, Chairman of the space agency, told The Hindu on the sidelines of the 8th APJ Abdul Kalam memorial lecture at the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) on Wednesday.

The space agency, in fact, is hoping to complete the second and third development flights during the 2022-23 fiscal, Mr. Somanath indicated. While the second mission is expected before December this year, the third is planned for February 2023, he said.

Glitches detected in the first developmental mission have been addressed, a senior ISRO official said.

ISRO's latest addition to the launch vehicle stable, the SSLV is 10 metres shorter than the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and way lighter. The 34-metre-tall, 120-tonne SSLV has a faster turnaround time and is planned as a 'launch on demand' launch vehicle to tap the commercial market for placing up to 500 kg payloads in low earth orbit (LEO).

Initially, the ISRO had planned to have all three development missions in 2022 itself. But the maiden flight, which lifted off from Sriharikota on August 7, placed the payloads EOS-02 satellite and the smaller AzaadiSAT into a 356 km x 76 km elliptical orbit instead of a 356 km circular orbit, rendering them unusable. On the other hand, all three three solid motor stages of the SSLV had performed well.

The ISRO had attributed the glitch in placing the satellites to ''failure of a logic to identify a sensor failure and go for a salvage action.''

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