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Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV)

Context: Recently, IN SPACe, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation, ISRO has called....

Context: Recently, IN SPACe, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation, ISRO has called for an Expression of Interest from Indian private Industries to manufacture a Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV).

What is a Small Satellite Launch Vehicle?
  • Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) is a three stage Launch Vehicle configured with three Solid Propulsion Stages and a liquid propulsion-based Velocity Trimming Module (VTM) as a terminal stage.
    • SSLV is 2m in diameter and 34m in length with a lift-off weight of around 120 tonnes.
    • SSLV is capable of launching 500kg satellites in 500km planar orbit from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC).
  • Aim:
    • ISRO developed a small satellite launch vehicle (SSLV) to cater the launch of up to 500 kg satellites to Low Earth Orbits on ‘launch-on-demand’ basis. 
    • SSLV is capable of launching Mini, Micro, or Nanosatellites (10 to 500 kg mass) to a 500 km planar orbit. 
  • Features:
    • Reduced Turn-around Time
    • Cost Optimization for Realization and Operation
    • Flexibility in accommodating Multiple Satellites
    • Minimum launch infrastructure requirements
    • Launch demand feasibility
    • Minimal launch infrastructure requirements
Significance of Small Satellite Launch Vehicle
  • SLV (Small Satellite Launch Vehicle) is significant in the era of small satellites.
  • The demand for small satellite launches has been rising due to the need for space-based data, communication, surveillance, and commerce.
  • SSLV saves costs for satellite manufacturers and operators by eliminating expensive travel costs and reducing wait times for rocket launches.
  • The rise in demand for commercial satellite launches presents a business opportunity for space organizations like ISRO.
  • SSLV drastically reduces turnaround time and enables launch on demand fulfillment.
  • It optimizes realization and operating costs.
  • Accommodation of multiple satellites easily and requires minimal launch infrastructure.
  • SSLV benefits from the heritage of proven design practices.
FAQs Related With Small Satellite Launch Vehicle
Ques 1. What is the purpose of a Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV)?

Answer. The purpose of an SSLV is to launch small satellites into space. These satellites typically have a lower mass and are used for various purposes such as data collection, communication, Earth observation, and scientific research.

Ques 2. How does an SSLV differ from larger rocket systems?

Answer. SSLVs are specifically designed to cater to the needs of small satellites. They are smaller and more cost-effective compared to larger rocket systems. SSLVs offer flexibility, faster turnaround times, and the ability to launch multiple satellites in a single mission.

Ques 3. Which space organizations are involved in developing SSLVs?

Answer . Various space organizations around the world are involved in the development of SSLVs. Notable examples include ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) with their SSLV called “Small Satellite Launch Vehicle,” Rocket Lab’s Electron, and Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne. These organizations aim to provide dedicated launch services for small satellites, offering more accessible and affordable access to space.

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