The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Friday launched its Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV-D2) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota and successfully placed the earth observation satellite EOS-07 and two co-passenger satellites — Janus-1 and AzaadiSat2 — in a 450-km circular orbit around the Earth.
In ISRO’s first launch of 2023, the 34-metre tall rocket lifted off at the end of a six-and-a-half hour countdown at about 9:18 am. The launch comes months after the partial failure of the maiden flight of this LV due to an orbit anomaly and deviation in the flight path of the rocket.
The objective of ISRO’s mission, which lasted all of 15 minutes, is to place these three satellites in an orbit around the Earth. EOS-07 is a 156.3 kg satellite which has been designed, developed and realised by ISRO.
“Currently, we are preparing for the next launch of GSLV Mark III leading to the launch of One Web India 236 satellites. So we are preparing for that launch. This launch will take place around mid-March,” ISRO chief, S Somnath, said during a press conference after the launch. “We are also preparing parallel for the landing demonstration of the reusable launch vehicle. Currently, the teams are at the landing site at Chitradurga. We are hopeful that everything will be fine in a few days & we’ll be able to do the landing demonstration.”
While, Janus-1 is a 10.2 kg satellite, the 8.7 kg AzaadiSAT-2 is a combined effort of about 750 girl students across India guided by Space Kidz India, Chennai.
The new vehicle was developed to further ISRO’s efforts towards capturing he emerging small and micro satellite commercial market. The rocket can be assembled by a small team in only a few days, compared to the six months and around 600 people it takes for ISRO’s workhorse PSLV.