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ISRO’s New Rocket SSLV-D1 Lifts-off from Sriharikota; Suffers ‘Data Loss’ at Terminal Stage
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is hoping to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the country's Independence with the launch of its new rocket Small Satellite Launch Vehicle - Developmental Flight 1 (SSLV-D1).
Sriharikota: On August 7 (Sunday) at 9.18 am, India’s newest rocket, the 34-metre tall and weighing 120 ton SSLV-D1 blasted off from the first launch pad at the Sriharikota rocket port on its maiden flight. Soon after the launch, ISRO chairman S. Somanath informed the space agency’s maiden Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) suffered “data loss” at the terminal stage, although three stages “performed and separated,” and said the space agency was analysing the data to ascertain the status of the vehicle and the satellites.
SSLV-D1/EOS 02 was carrying an earth observation satellite and a student satellite. About 12 minutes into the rocket’s flight, ISRO announced the separation of EOS-02 and the AZAADISAT. However after that there was data loss, ISRO said leaving the nation in suspense.
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“The AZAADISAT got separated. We can know about the satellite only at night,” Dr. Srimathy Kesan, Founder and CEO, SpaceKidz India told IANS.
“All stages performed as expected. The first stage performed and separated, second stage performed and separated, the third stage also performed and separated, and in the terminal phase of the mission, some data loss is occurring and we are analysing the data and we will comeback on the status of the satellites as well as the vehicle performance soon,” Somanath said from the Mission Control Centre here, minutes after the launch vehicle lifted off from the spaceport.
Issuing a statement on the SSLV-D1/EOS-02 mission update, ISRO said, “All stages performed normally. Both satellites were injected. But the orbit achieved was less than expected which makes it unstable.”
A jubilant mood in the Mission Control Centre soon made way to anxiety, before Somanath updated about the mission status.
The countdown for the launch of India’s maiden Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) carrying an earth observation satellite and a student satellite commenced at 2.26 am on Sunday, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said. The lift-off of the rocket took place from the first launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR), about 135 km from Chennai. About 13 minutes after launch, the rocket was expected to place the EOS-02 and AzaadiSAT into the intended orbit.
The launch of its new rocket Small Satellite Launch Vehicle – Developmental Flight 1 (SSLV-D1) was a part of Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) celebration of the 75th anniversary of the country’s Independence.
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ISRO has embarked on a mission to place satellites that weigh up to 500 kg into the 500 km low earth orbit, as it aims for a bigger share of the demanding SSLV market.
“SSLV-D1/EOS-02 Mission: the countdown commenced at 02.26hrs,” ISRO said on its website on Sunday.
— ISRO (@isro) August 7, 2022
The objective of the SSLV is to place satellites EOS-02 and AzaadiSAT, into low earth orbit.
Unlike ISRO’s trusted workhorse — Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles (PSLV) the SSLV can carry payloads weighing up to 500 kg and deploy satellites into a 500 km low earth orbit.
It uses solid fuel — hydroxyl terminated polubutadiene — to fire the first three stages which takes the payloads to the desired altitude. The fourth stage comprises liquid propulsion-based Velocity Trimming Module (VTM) to place the satellites into orbit.
The main payload on the 34-metre-tall rocket is the earth observation-02 satellite and co-passenger satellite AzaadiSAT, an 8-kg Cubesat designed by the girl students from government schools across the country to mark the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence.
The earth observation satellite designed by ISRO offers advanced optical remote sensing operating in infra-red bands with high spatial resolution. EOS-02 belongs to the microsatellite series of spacecraft.
The objective of the EOS-02 is to provide inputs on thermal anomalies towards supporting applications in the domains of geo-environmental studies, forestry, hydrology, agriculture, soil, and coastal studies.
The AzaadiSAT carries 75 different payloads each weighing around 50 grams. Girl students from rural regions across the country were provided guidance to build these payloads which are integrated by the student team of ‘Space Kidz India’, ISRO said.
The ground system developed by Space Kidz India would be utilised for receiving the data from this satellite.
Sunday’s mission of ISRO is the third this year after the successful PSLV-C53 mission on June 30, which is the dedicated commercial mission of NewSpace India Ltd.
On February 14, ISRO successfully placed earth observation satellite EOS-04 on board its trusted workhorse PSLV-C52/EOS-04 mission.
The radar imaging satellite was designed to provide high-quality images under all weather conditions for applications such as agriculture, forestry and plantations.