Small Satellite Launch Vehicle

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Small Satellite Launch Vehicle
Small Satellite Launch Vehicle.png
Artist's impression
FunctionLaunch vehicle
Country of originIndia
Cost per launchUS$4.3 million [1]
Height34 m
Diameter2 m
Mass120 t
Payload to 500x500 km orbit, i=45°500 kilograms (1,100 lb)
Payload to SSO300 kilograms (660 lb)
Associated rockets
Launch history
Launch sitesSDSC
Total launches0
First stage – S85
Engines1 solid
Second stage – S7
Engines1 solid
Third stage – S4
Engines1 solid
Fourth stage

Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (or SSLV) is a launch vehicle being developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) with payload capacity of 500 kg to Low Earth orbit or 300 kg to Sun synchronous orbit for launching small satellites.[3][4][5] On 21 December 2018, the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) at Thumba completed the design for the vehicle. According to the director of VSSC, S.Somanath, the maiden flight is expected to be in July 2019 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre.[1][6]

After entering the operational phase, the vehicle's production and launch operation is expected to be done by a consortium of Indian firms along with Antrix Corporation from an alternate launch site.[4][7][8][9][10][11]

Vehicle description[edit]

SSLV was developed with the aim of launching small satellites commercially at drastically reduced price and higher launch rate as compared to PSLV. The manufacturing cost of SSLV is expected to be 10% of that of PSLV.[7]

The projected high launch rate relies on largely autonomous launch operation and on overall simple logistics. To compare, a PSLV launch involves 600 officials while SSLV launch operations would be managed by a small team of about six people. The launch readiness period of SSLV is expected to be less than a week instead of months.[12][13] The launch vehicle can be assembled both vertically like the existing PSLV and GSLVs and horizontally like the decommissioned SLV and ASLV.[14]

The first three stages of the vehicle use solid propellant, with a fourth stage being a velocity-trimming module.

Vehicle characteristics:[15][16]

  • Height: 34.0 meters
  • Diameter: 2.0 meters
  • Mass: 120 tonnes

Planned launches[edit]

Date / time (UTC) Rocket,
Launch site Payload Orbit Customer
July 2019[1][17] SSLV First 2x Indian military satellites (120 kg each) [18] LEO
SSLV-D1, First developmental flight
October 2019[17] SSLV First TBD LEO
SSLV-D2, Second developmental flight

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Dixit, Rekha. "ISRO plans 32 missions in 2019, SSLV set for maiden flight in July". Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  2. ^ "ISRO is developing a small rocket to cash in on the small-satellite boom". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  3. ^ Gunter's space page: SSLV
  4. ^ a b "SSLV". Retrieved 2018-12-09.
  5. ^ "Department of Space presentation on 18 Jan 2019" (PDF). 18 January 2019. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  6. ^ Rajwi, Tiki (2018-12-21). "Design for Small Satellite Launch Vehicle ready". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  7. ^ a b "Isro to rope in industry majors for mini-PSLV project - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2018-09-02.
  8. ^ "ISRO, Antrix to involve private sector in SSLV biz". @businessline. Retrieved 2018-09-02.
  9. ^ IANS (2018-09-02). "There's big money to make in space business for Indian firms: Antrix chief". Business Standard India. Retrieved 2018-09-02.
  10. ^ Peri, Dinakar (2018-09-21). "ISRO setting up launch pad for Gaganyaan mission". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2018-10-02.
  11. ^ "Question number 1733 in Rajya Sabha" (PDF). Retrieved 11 January 2019. A study has been carried out to identify suitable locations for establishment of a launch pad for the small satellite launch vehicle. It was found that the locations in the western sea coast near Gujarat did not meet some of the criteria for establishing the launch pad.
  12. ^ "India's 19 upcoming missions, and ISRO's Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) | SpaceTech Asia". SpaceTech Asia. 2018-08-28. Retrieved 2018-09-02.
  13. ^ "ISRO developing vehicle to launch small satellites". Frontline. Retrieved 2018-09-02.
  14. ^ "Design for Small Satellite Launch Vehicle ready". The Hindu. 2018-12-21. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  15. ^ "ORF on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-09-02.
  16. ^ Narayan Prasad (2018-07-04), Dr. Somnath on ISRO's Roadmap and Indian Launch Vehicles at Toulouse Space Show 2018, retrieved 2018-09-02
  17. ^ a b Kumar, Chethan (12 August 2018). "Isro aims to launch 22 missions in 2019; 50 in 3 years". TNN. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  18. ^ "On its maiden flight, India's SSLV will carry two defence satellites". The Economic Times. 2019-02-20. Retrieved 2019-02-20.