ISRO Launches Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) D2: A Major Milestone in Indian Space Exploration

The SSLV successfully launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, carrying three payloads, on a 15-minute journey to Low Earth Orbit.

By Crickified Mohit

SSLV D2 inaugural flight from the Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, India

On the historic date of February 10th, 2023, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) achieved yet another remarkable milestone in its space exploration journey. This significant achievement came in the form of the successful launch of the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) D2, carrying three payloads weighing a total of 350 kilograms. The three satellites, namely Earth Observation Satellite - 07 (EOS-07), Janus-1, and AzaadiSAT-2, were deployed into a Low Earth Orbit at an altitude of 450 kilometers above the Earth's surface.


A Breakthrough Launch Vehicle Designed to Cater to Small Satellites
The SSLV D2 stands as the sixth launch vehicle developed by ISRO. It has been specifically designed to shoulder the burden of the widely-used Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and to cater to the increasing demand for small satellite launches. One of the unique features of the SSLV is its capability to launch on demand, providing flexibility and efficiency in meeting the requirements of various satellite missions.

A Successful Launch from Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota
The SSLV D2 made its inaugural flight from the prestigious Satish Dhawan Space Center situated in Sriharikota, India. This spaceport, located on the east coast of the country, has been the launch site for numerous successful missions undertaken by ISRO. The SSLV D2, powered by three solid propulsion stages and a liquid propulsion-based Velocity Trimming Module (VTM), embarked on its 15-minute journey towards the intended orbit with the three payloads on board.


A Three-Stage Launch Vehicle Configuration
The SSLV D2 is a three-stage launch vehicle that utilizes solid propellants as fuel for its three solid propulsion stages. This configuration ensures a reliable and efficient propulsion system for the initial stages of the launch. Additionally, the SSLV D2 incorporates a liquid propulsion-based Velocity Trimming Module (VTM) as its terminal stage. This module plays a crucial role in achieving the desired orbit and facilitating the deployment of the satellites.

The Critical Role of the Velocity Trimming Module
During the SSLV D2 mission, all stages of the launch vehicle performed as expected, including the Velocity Trimming Module (VTM). The VTM, powered by a liquid propulsion system, ignited after the separation of the three solid propulsion stages. Its primary objective was to provide the necessary velocity adjustments to achieve a circular orbit at an altitude of 450 kilometers. The successful execution of the VTM's orbital corrections ensured the precise deployment of the three satellites into their intended orbits.

Earth Observation Satellite - 07 (EOS-07): A Versatile ISRO Creation
Among the three satellites deployed by the SSLV D2, the Earth Observation Satellite - 07 (EOS-07) stands out as an impressive creation by ISRO. Weighing 156.3 kilograms, EOS-07 was designed and developed at the U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC), one of ISRO's esteemed centers dedicated to satellite design, development, and construction. This satellite is equipped with advanced imaging capabilities, enabling it to capture high-resolution images of Earth's surface for a wide range of applications.


Janus-1: A Collaboration with Antaris
The second satellite launched by the SSLV D2 is Janus-1, developed in collaboration with Antaris, a renowned satellite software innovator based in the United States. Janus-1 weighs 11.5 kilograms and boasts cutting-edge technology that contributes to various scientific and research endeavors. This collaboration showcases the international cooperation and exchange of expertise in the field of space exploration.

AzaadiSAT-2: Empowering Young Minds in India
The third satellite deployed by the SSLV D2, AzaadiSAT-2, stands as a testament to the ingenuity and enthusiasm of young minds across India. Developed by approximately 750 girl students from different parts of the country, this satellite received guidance from Space Kidz India, based in Chennai. Weighing 8.7 kilograms, AzaadiSAT-2 symbolizes the empowerment of young talent in the field of space technology.

The Implications of the SSLV D2 Launch
The successful launch of the SSLV D2 and the deployment of the three satellites mark a significant achievement for ISRO and the Indian space exploration program. The SSLV D2's capability to cater to the increasing demand for small satellite launches opens up new opportunities for various sectors, including communication, Earth observation, scientific research, and technology development. Furthermore, the collaborative efforts showcased through Janus-1 and the empowerment of young minds with AzaadiSAT-2 highlight the global and inclusive nature of the space industry.

The SSLV D2 launch by ISRO signifies a major milestone in Indian space exploration. The successful deployment of the three satellites, EOS-07, Janus-1, and AzaadiSAT-2, demonstrates ISRO's commitment to innovation, international cooperation, and nurturing young talent. This achievement paves the way for future advancements in the field of space technology and contributes to the overall growth and development of the Indian space sector.

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