The Indian Space of Research Organisation (ISRO) on Sunday launched its maiden Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) carrying earth observation and student satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR), Sriharikota. The countdown for the launch commenced at 2.26 am on Sunday and lifted off at 9.18 am. The Earth Observation Satellite ( EOS)-02 and AzaadiSAT will be placed in low earth orbit by this mission.
Soon after the launch, data was reported. The ISRO chief S Somnath said that they were analysing the data to conclude the final outcome of the mission with respect to achieving a stable orbit. The space agency would get back with more detail.
AzadiSAT is an 8 kg Cubesat. It has been designed by the girl students across the country to mark the 75th anniversary of India’s independence. The ISRO said that the AzaadiSAT carried 75 different payloads each weighing around 50 grams. Guidance was invited from the girl students of rural regions across the country to build these payloads which are integrated by the student team of Space Kidz India.
According to the ISRO website, the payloads include a UHF-VHF Transponder working in ham radio frequency to enable voice and data transmission for amateur radio operators, a solid state PIN diode-based Radiation counter to measure the ionising radiation in its orbit, a long-range transponder and a selfie camera. The ground system developed by ‘Space Kidz India’ will be utilised for receiving the data from this satellite.
The EOS-02 offers advanced optical remote sensing operating in infrared bands with high spatial resolution. It will provide input on thermal anomalies towards supporting applications in the domains of geo-environment studies, forestry, hydrology, agriculture, soil and coastal studies.
Unlike Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), the SSLV can carry payloads weighing up to 500 kg and deploy satellites into a 500 km low earth orbit. The ISRO wants to grab a bigger share in the demanding SSLV market.
The space organisation said that the SSLV uses hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (a solid fuel) to fire the first three stages which takes the payloads to the desired altitude. The fourth stage comprises a liquid propulsion-based Velocity Trimming Module (VTM) to place the satellite into orbit.