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8th August 2022 (6 Topics)

Satellites launched by SSLV in ‘wrong orbit, not usable’

Context

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said that the satellites onboard “are no longer usable” after the SSLV-D1 placed the satellite in an undesignated orbit.

Background

  • ISRO launched the maiden flight of its smallest launch vehicle on August 7, 2022, carrying payloads. The mission, called SSLV-D1, is the first developmental flight of the launch vehicle. But it failed to place the satellites in the designated orbits.

About SSLV-D1/EOS-02 Mission:

  • Small satellite launch vehicle (SSLV) is capable of launching Mini, Micro, or Nanosatellites (10 to 500 kg mass) to a 500 km planar orbit.
  • SSLV-D1 mission was supposed to launch EOS-02, a 135 kg Satellite, into low earth orbit of about 350 km to the equator, at an inclination of about 37 degrees.
  • ISRO has developed a small satellite launch vehicle (SSLV) to cater to the launch of up to 500 kg satellites to Low Earth Orbits on a ‘launch-on-demand’
  • EOS-02 is an earth observation satellite designed and realized by ISRO. This microsat series satellite offers advanced optical remote sensing operating in the infra-red band with high spatial resolution.
  • The mission was also carrying the AzaadiSAT satellite. AzaadiSAT is an 8U Cubesat weighing around 8 kg. It carries 75 different payloads each weighing around 50 grams and conducts femto-experiments.
  • Girl students from rural regions across the country were provided guidance to build these payloads.

Latest Development:

  • SSLV-D1 placed the satellites into a 356 km x 76 km elliptical orbit instead of a 356 km circular orbit. This means that the satellites are no longer usable.
  • The progress of the rocket launch was smooth and successful as all the solid fuel-powered engines performed normally.
  • The failure of the mission appears to have been the result of a faulty sensor. According to ISRO the failure of a logic to identify a sensor failure and go for a salvage action caused the deviation, which resulted in the failure of the mission.

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