Small Satellite Launch Vehicle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Small Satellite Launch Vehicle
Small Satellite Launch Vehicle.png
Artist's impression
FunctionLaunch vehicle
Country of originIndia
Cost per launch30 crore (US$3.9 million) [1]
Height34 m (112 ft)
Diameter2 m (6 ft 7 in)
Mass120 t (120 long tons; 130 short tons)
Stages4 [2]
Payload to low Earth orbit
Altitude500 km (310 mi) [3]
Orbital inclination45.0°
Mass600 kg (1,300 lb)
Payload to Sun-synchronous orbit
Altitude500 km (310 mi) [3]
Mass300 kg (660 lb)
Associated rockets
Launch history
StatusIn construction
Launch sitesSDSC SHAR
Total launches0
First flightMay 2022 (Planned)
First stage – SS1
Powered byS85
Maximum thrust2496 kN (vac) [4]
Burn time94.3 sec [4]
PropellantSolid (HTPB based)
Second stage – SS2
Powered byS7
Maximum thrust234.2 kN (vac) [4]
Burn time113.1 sec [4]
PropellantSolid (HTPB based)
Third stage – SS3
Powered byS4
Maximum thrust160 kN (vac) [4]
Burn time106.9 sec [4]
PropellantSolid (HTPB based)
Fourth stage – Velocity Trimming Module
Powered by16×50N bipropellant thrusters [4]

The Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) is a small-lift launch vehicle being developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) with payload capacity to deliver 600 kg (1,300 lb) to low Earth orbit (500 km (310 mi)) or 300 kg (660 lb) to Sun-synchronous orbit (500 km (310 mi))[3] for launching small satellites, with the capability to support multiple orbital drop-offs.[5][6][7]

The maiden flight is expected in q3 2022,[8] from the First Launch Pad,[9] and in the future a dedicated launch pad in Sriharikota called Small Satellite Launch Complex (SSLC) will be set up.[10] A new spaceport, under development, near Kulasekharapatnam in Tamil Nadu will handle SSLV launches when complete.[11][12]

After entering the operational phase, the vehicle's production and launch operations will be done by a consortium of Indian firms along with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL).[13][14][15]

Vehicle description[edit]

The SSLV was developed with the aim of launching small satellites commercially at drastically reduced price and higher launch rate as compared to Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). The development cost of SSLV is 169.07 crore (US$22 million)[9][16] and the manufacturing cost is expected to be 30 crore (US$3.9 million) to 35 crore (US$4.6 million).[17][14][1]

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 the SSLV is expected to be less than a week instead of months.[18][19] The launch vehicle can be assembled both vertically like the existing PSLV and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and horizontally like the decommissioned Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV) and Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV).[20]

The first three stages of the vehicle use HTPB based solid propellant, with a fourth terminal stage being a Velocity-Trimming Module (VTM) with eight 50 N thrusters for reaction control and eight 50 N axial thrusters for changing velocity.[4]

Vehicle characteristics:[21][22]

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

Small Satellite Launch Complex[edit]

The early developmental flights and those to inclined orbits will launch from Sriharikota,[10] at first using existing launch pads and later from dedicated facility called Small Satellite Launch Complex (SSLC).[23] Tenders related to manufacturing, installation, assembly, inspection, testing and Self Propelled launching Unit (SPU) were released in October 2019.[24][25][26]

A new spaceport, under development, near Kulasekharapatnam in Tamil Nadu will handle SSLV launches to Sun-synchronous orbit when complete.[11][27][28]


In 2016, a National Institute of Advanced Studies report by Prof. Rajaram Nagappa proposed development path of a 'Small Satellite launch Vehicle-1' to launch strategic payloads.[29] In National Space Science Symposium 2016,[30] then Director of Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre, S. Somanath also acknowledged a need for identifying a cost effective launch vehicle configuration with 500 kg payload capacity to LEO[31] and by November 2017, development of such launch vehicle was underway.[32]

By December 2018, the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) completed the design for the vehicle.[33]

In December 2020, all booster segments for SSLV first stage (SS1) static test (ST01) were received and assembly was done in Second Vehicle Assembly Building (SVAB).[34]

First static fire test (ST01) of SS1 conducted on 18 March 2021 was unsuccessful.[35][36] About 60 seconds into the test, oscillations were observed and after 95 seconds the nozzle of SS1 stage disintegrated. The nominal duration of test was 110 seconds.[37] To qualify for flight, SSLV's solid first stage SS1 has to perform two consecutive nominal static fire tests.[37]

SSLV Payload Fairing (SPLF) functional qualification test was completed in August 2021.[38]

Second known static fire test of SSLV first stage SS1 was conducted on 14 March 2022 at SDSC-SHAR and met the required test objectives.[8][39]

Planned launches[edit]

Date / time (UTC) Rocket,
Launch site Payload Orbit Customer
May 2022[40][8]
First Launch Pad
EOS 02 (142 kg) LEO ISRO
SSLV-D1; first demonstration flight, aiming for 350 km orbit.[41][42]
August 2022[40]
First Launch Pad
BlackSky Global-5, 6, and two others LEO Spaceflight Industries
SSLV-D2, second demonstration flight carrying four 56 kg Blacksky Global satellites to ~500 km circular orbit with 50° inclination.[43][13][44]
December 2022[40][45][46]
First Launch Pad
X-ray Polarimeter Satellite (480 kg) LEO ISRO
Previously manifested on the PSLV.

See also[edit]

Previous Launch Vehicles:

Comparable Launch Vehicles:


  1. ^ a b "Chandrayaan-2 Mission planned for middle of April". @businessline. 11 January 2019. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  2. ^ "ISRO is developing a small rocket to cash in on the small-satellite boom". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "SSLV technical brochure V12" (PDF). 20 December 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on 20 December 2019. Retrieved 20 December 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "Small Satellite Launch Vehicle". Retrieved 5 November 2021.
  5. ^ Gunter's space page: SSLV
  6. ^ "SSLV". Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  7. ^ "Department of Space presentation on 18 January 2019" (PDF). 18 January 2019. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  8. ^ a b c "Ground testing of Solid Booster Stage (SS1) for Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV)". ISRO. 14 March 2022. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  9. ^ a b Service, Tribune News. "ISRO plans to launch new rocket before December 2020". Tribuneindia News. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  10. ^ a b "Episode 90 – An update on ISRO's activities with S. Somanath and R. Umamaheshwaran". AstrotalkUK. 24 October 2019. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  11. ^ a b "India to get its second spaceport, land acquisition work begins in Tamil Nadu | India News - Times of India". The Times of India.
  12. ^ ""Industrialised" PSLV by 2022". The Hindu. 25 January 2020. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  13. ^ a b Sorensen, Jodi (6 August 2019). "Spaceflight Inc. Purchases and Fully Manifests First-Ever Commercial SSLV Mission from NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), the Commercial Arm of ISRO, India". Spaceflight. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  14. ^ a b Singh, Surendra (4 May 2018). "ISRO to rope in industry majors for mini-PSLV project". The Times of India. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  15. ^ IANS (2 September 2018). "There's big money to make in space business for Indian firms: Antrix chief". Business Standard India. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  16. ^ "Satellite Launch Vehicle" (PDF). 16 December 2021. The development of SSLV is in the final stages and the first developmental flight of SSLV is targeted during the first quarter of 2022. The Government has sanctioned a total cost of Rs.169.07 Crores for the development project including the development & qualification of the vehicle systems and the flight demonstration through three development flights (SSLV-D1, SSLV-D2 & SSLV-D3){{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. ^ "ISRO readying for low cost satellite launch vehicles". Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  18. ^ "India's 19 upcoming missions, and ISRO's Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV)". SpaceTech Asia. 28 August 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  19. ^ "ISRO developing vehicle to launch small satellites". Frontline. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  20. ^ "Design for Small Satellite Launch Vehicle ready". The Hindu. 21 December 2018. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  21. ^ "ORF on Twitter". twitter,com. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  22. ^ Narayan Prasad (4 July 2018), Dr. Somnath on ISRO's Roadmap and Indian Launch Vehicles at Toulouse Space Show 2018, retrieved 2 September 2018
  23. ^ "Message from Chairman's desk". Indian Space Research Organisation. 1 January 2019. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  26. ^ "TENDER NOTICE NO. SDSC SHAR/Sr.HPS/PT/11/2019-2020" (PDF). ISRO. Retrieved 30 October 2019. RFP document for Supply of Stainless Steel Tanks
  27. ^ "ISRO's Second Spaceport, for New SSLV Rocket, to Come up in Tamil Nadu". The Wire. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  28. ^ 4 IAF Pilots Selected, Design Phase Of Manned Mission Over (Video). 2 January 2020. Event occurs at 8 minutes.
  29. ^ Nagappa, Rajaram (December 2015). "The Promise of Small Satellites for National Security" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 January 2017. Retrieved 21 March 2022. By appropriate choice from among the solid propellant stages available with ISRO and DRDO, a launch vehicle could be configured and designated Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV-1). The performance of SSLV-1 was estimated using the in house developed trajectory-modelling programme QuoVadis. The performance runs show that SSLV-1 is capable of putting a 350 kg satellite in a polar orbit of 511 km x 497 km orbit and a 400 kg satellite in an orbit of 425 x 401 km (higher payloads are possible in equatorial orbit). This payload capability allows the launch of microsatellites with optical imaging and radar imaging payloads as well as individual intelligence satellites. Satellite life for the 400 kg mass satellite may be short in the 400 km orbit.
  30. ^ "NSSS 2016". 7 February 2016. Archived from the original on 7 February 2016.
  31. ^ "Future of Space Transportation by S. Somanath (Director, Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre)" (PDF). 7 February 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 February 2016.
  32. ^ Surendra Singh (22 November 2017). "Isro news: A rocket that can be made in 3 days | India News - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 20 March 2022.
  33. ^ Rajwi, Tiki (21 December 2018). "Design for Small Satellite Launch Vehicle ready". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 20 March 2022.
  34. ^ "SDSC-SHAR Website". 1 January 2021. Archived from the original on 1 January 2021. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  35. ^ "చిన్న ఉపగ్రహ వాహకనౌక మోటారులో సాంకేతికలోపం". (in Telugu). Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  36. ^ "Department of Space, Annual Report 2021-22" (PDF). 27 April 2022. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 April 2022. The first static test of SS1 solid motor was conducted and the performance of SS1 ignition system, propellant system and Flex Nozzle Control (FNC) system was evaluated. Various design modifications have been incorporated to resolve the anomalies observed in the first static test (…)
  37. ^ a b "Static test of first stage solid motor of India's mini rocket SSLV unsuccessful". The Economic Times. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  38. ^ "Monthly Summary of Department of space for the month of August 2021" (PDF). 29 September 2021. Archived from the original on 29 December 2021.
  39. ^ "RFP to make small rocket SSLV to be issued after 3/4 successful launches". Ahmedabad Mirror. Retrieved 15 March 2022.
  40. ^ a b c Kumar, Chethan (6 April 2022). "2 Gaganyaan abort tests in August, December; relay satellites next year". The Times of India. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  41. ^ Madhumathi, D.S. (7 August 2019). "ISRO's mini launcher SSLV is unborn but has 2 flights booked". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  42. ^ "Department of Space, Annual Report 2020-2021" (PDF). ISRO. p. 23. Archived (PDF) from the original on 4 March 2021. Retrieved 6 March 2021. EOS-02: EOS-02 is configured around MicroSat-TD bus platform to demonstrate launch on demand capability with SSLV. It is expected to meet the ever-increasing user demands for cartographic applications, urban and rural management, coastal land use and regulation, utilities mapping, development and various other GIS application. The mission life of the satellite is 9 months.
  43. ^ "Application for Earth Exploration Satellite Service by BlackSky Global, LLC" (PDF). FCC. 25 July 2019. p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 July 2019. Retrieved 28 July 2019. Global-5 through Global-8 are currently scheduled to be launched in November 2019 on a Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) by the Indian Space Research Organization from its Satish Dhawan Space Center Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  44. ^ "SSLV". Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  45. ^ Dutt, Anonna (17 September 2021). "'India's first solar mission likely to launch next year': ISRO". The Hindustan Times. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  46. ^ International Space Conference and Exhibition - DAY 3. Confederation of Indian Industry (video). 15 September 2021. Event occurs at 2:08:39–2:09:20. Retrieved 18 September 2021 – via YouTube.