ISRO and the Space Launch Industry

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)’s new mini space transport service SSLV has been booked by two new customers- one of which is Indian and the other is the American space launch firm, Spaceflight.

The deal with Spaceflight has been formalized by newly setup NewSpace India Ltd (NSIL) which is ISRO’s new commercialization unit.

SSLV’s first flight

  • ISRO aims to perform the SSLV?s first flight by December end.
  • In its first flight, the SSLV will establish 1 Indian defense earth observation spacecraft (of displacement up to 500 kg)? in the low-earth orbit (LEO).

What is the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV)??

  • The SSLV is niche launch solution which aims to fill the launch vehicle requirement for all small launch vehicles.
  • It is designed for the launch of small satellites which have a shorter launch preparation window.
  • The SSLV is designed for launching several micro & small satellites in the same launch and is designed to support orbital drop-offs of multiple satellites at different elevations.
  • The SSLV has an orbital lift weight of 500 kg.
  • It is designed to be easily assembled by a small group of people and compared to larger rockets, has better economic returns.

What the future holds for small satellites?

As per a report prepared by the independent aerospace consultancy, Euroconsult, the small satellite industry has the potential to increase 3.5 fold in the upcoming decade.

The small satellite industry which manufactures and launches smallsats and anticipates that till 2023, annually an average of 835 smallsats will be launched and in the coming decades, more than 9000 smallsats will be launched.

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