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 the 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.
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 meters. The satellite, weighing 142 kg, will have a mission life of ten months.
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.
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.