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First flight of India’s newest rocket

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    Science & Technology
  • Published
    8th Aug, 2022


The maiden flight of the SSLV or the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle, India’s newest addition to its rocket fleet, had been postponed several times in the last three years. 


  • The rocket finally embarked on its first flight, carrying two satellites, including an earth observation micro-satellite called EOS-02. 
  • The satellites into 356 km x 76 km elliptical orbit instead of 356 km circular orbit”, adding that the “satellites are longer be usable”.
  • A rocket that costs at least one-tenth of those currently in use. 


  • The SSLV seeks to serve the rapidly growing market for the launch of small satellites into the LEO (Earth’s low orbits) which has emerged in recent times to serve the requirements of the developing nations, universities/institutions for small satellites, and private firms.
  • ISRO’s SSLV is capable of carrying satellites weighing less than or equal to 500 kg.
  • The launch vehicle will carry the small satellites into 500 km LEO (Low Earth Orbit).
  • Manufacturing of SSLV is the responsibility of the commercial arm of ISRO i.e. NSIL (New Space India Limited).
  • SSLV is ISRO’s lightest launch vehicle, weighing around 110 tons.
  • Contrary to PSLV’s 70 days time to get integrated, the SSLV takes only 72 hours.
  • SSLV needs only 6 people to integrate it.
  • It is a 3 stage Launch Vehicle configured with three Solid Propulsion Stages and liquid propulsion based Velocity Trimming Module (VTM) as a terminal stage.
    • All three stages of the SSLV will be solid propulsion stages.
  • The launch vehicle uses solid fuel in all its stages of flight.
  • The vehicle also features both vented and closed interstage.

What is Low-Earth Orbit ? 

  • Low-Earth orbit (often known as LEO) encompasses Earth-centred orbits with an altitude of 2,000 km (1,200 mi) or less.


  • Development of a cost-effective launch vehicle with a high launch frequency and a quick turnaround capability to cater to the growing opportunities in the global launch services market for small satellites.
  • To create greater synergy between the space sector and private Indian industries .


  • Among many, the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle of ISRO has following advantages for Indian Space industry-
    • Drastic reduction of the turnaround time.
    • Launch on Demand fulfilment.
    • Realisation and operating cost optimisation.
    • Multiple satellites can be accommodated with ease.
    • Least amount of launch infrastructure requirements.
    • Heritage of proven design practices.

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