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

  • Published
    8th Aug, 2022
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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