Small Satellite Launch Vehicle


Small Satellite Launch Vehicle
Small Satellite Launch Vehicle.png
Artist's impression
FunctionLaunch vehicle
Country of originIndia
Cost per launch30 crore (US$4.2 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]
Mass500 kg (1,100 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 flightNET Oct 2021 (planned) [4][5]
First stage – SS1
Second stage – SS2
Third stage – SS3
Fourth stage – Velocity Trimming Module

The Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (or SSLV) is a small-lift launch vehicle being developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) with payload capacity to deliver 500 kg (1,100 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.[6][7][8] On 21 December 2018, the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) at Thumba completed the design for the vehicle.

The maiden flight is expected by end of 2021,[5] [9] from First Launch Pad[10] and in future a dedicated launch pad in Sriharikota called Small Satellite Launch Complex (SSLC) will be set up.[11] A new spaceport, under development, near Kulasekharapatnam in Tamil Nadu will handle SSLV launches when complete.[12][13]

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).[14][7][15][16][17][18][19]

Vehicle description

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 120 crore (US$17 million)[10] and the manufacturing cost is expected to be 30 crore (US$4.2 million) to 35 crore (US$4.9 million).[20][15][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.[21][22] 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).[23]

The first three stages of the vehicle use solid propellant, with a fourth stage being a velocity-trimming module.

Vehicle characteristics:[24][25]

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

Small Satellite Launch Complex

The early developmental flights and those to inclined orbits will launch from Sriharikota,[11] at first using existing launch pads and later from dedicated facility called Small Satellite Launch Complex (SSLC).[26] Tenders related to manufacturing, installation, assembly, inspection, testing and Self Propelled launching Unit (SPU) were released in October 2019.[27][28][29]

A new spaceport, under development, near Kulasekharapatnam in Tamil Nadu will handle SSLV launches to Sun-synchronous orbit when complete.[30][31][32]


To qualify for flight, SSLV's solid first stage SS1 has to perform two consecutive nominal static fire tests.

First static fire test of SS1 conducted on 18 March 2021 was unsuccessful.[33] 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.[4]

Planned launches

Date / time (UTC) Rocket,
Launch site Payload Orbit Customer
NET Oct 2021[5][4]
EOS 02 (142 kg) LEO ISRO
SSLV-D1; first demonstration flight, aiming for 350 km orbit.[34][35][36][37][38][39][40]
BlackSky Global-5, BlackSky Global-6, BlackSky Global-9, BlackSky Global-10 LEO Spaceflight Industries
SSLV-D2, second demonstration flight carrying four 56 kg Blacksky Global satellites to ~500 km circular orbit with 50° inclination.[41][42][14][43]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Chandrayaan-2 Mission planned for middle of April". @businessline. 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 "Static test of first stage solid motor of India's mini rocket SSLV unsuccessful". The Economic Times. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  5. ^ a b c "Gaganyaan, India's human space mission, will use 'green propulsion': ISRO". Retrieved 27 March 2021.
  6. ^ Gunter's space page: SSLV
  7. ^ a b "SSLV". Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  8. ^ "Department of Space presentation on 18 January 2019" (PDF). 18 January 2019. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  9. ^ "ఏటా 26 ప్రయోగాలే లక్ష్యం". (in Telugu). Retrieved 1 January 2021.
  10. ^ a b Service, Tribune News. "ISRO plans to launch new rocket before December 2020". Tribuneindia News. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  11. ^ a b "Episode 90 – An update on ISRO's activities with S. Somanath and R. Umamaheshwaran". AstrotalkUK. 24 October 2019. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  12. ^
  13. ^ ""Industrialised" PSLV by 2022". The Hindu. 25 January 2020. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  14. ^ a b "Spaceflight Inc. Purchases and Fully Manifests First-Ever Commercial SSLV Mission from NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), the Commercial Arm of ISRO, India". Spaceflight. 6 August 2019. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  15. ^ a b "ISRO to rope in industry majors for mini-PSLV project". The Times of India. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  16. ^ "ISRO, Antrix to involve private sector in SSLV biz". The Hindu Business Line. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ Peri, Dinakar (21 September 2018). "ISRO setting up launch pad for Gaganyaan mission". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  19. ^ "Question number 1733 in Rajya Sabha" (PDF). Retrieved 11 January 2019. A study has been carried out to identify suitable locations for establishment of a launch pad for the small satellite launch vehicle. It was found that the locations in the western sea coast near Gujarat did not meet some of the criteria for establishing the launch pad.
  20. ^ "ISRO readying for low cost satellite launch vehicles". Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  21. ^ "India's 19 upcoming missions, and ISRO's Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV)". SpaceTech Asia. 28 August 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  22. ^ "ISRO developing vehicle to launch small satellites". Frontline. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  23. ^ "Design for Small Satellite Launch Vehicle ready". The Hindu. 21 December 2018. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  24. ^ "ORF on Twitter". twitter,com. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  25. ^ Narayan Prasad (4 July 2018), Dr. Somnath on ISRO's Roadmap and Indian Launch Vehicles at Toulouse Space Show 2018, retrieved 2 September 2018
  26. ^ "Message from Chairman's desk". Indian Space Research Organisation. 1 January 2019. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  29. ^ "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
  30. ^
  31. ^ "ISRO's Second Spaceport, for New SSLV Rocket, to Come up in Tamil Nadu". The Wire. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  32. ^ 4 IAF Pilots Selected, Design Phase Of Manned Mission Over (Video). 2 January 2020. Event occurs at 8 minutes.
  33. ^ "చిన్న ఉపగ్రహ వాహకనౌక మోటారులో సాంకేతికలోపం". (in Telugu). Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  34. ^ "Isro will launch first satellite of this year from Sriharikota on November 6". The Times of India. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  35. ^ December 4, Surendra Singh / TNN / Updated; 2020; Ist, 13:56. "Cyclones can stall last sat launch of this year; Chandrayaan-3 cams will provide live feed during final descent: ISRO chief". The Times of India. Retrieved 4 December 2020.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  36. ^ 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.
  37. ^ "On its maiden flight, India's SSLV will carry two defence satellites". The Economic Times. 20 February 2019. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  38. ^ "Annual Report 2019-20, Department of Space" (PDF). 14 February 2020. Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 February 2020. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  39. ^ "ISRO gearing up for launch of small satellite launch vehicles: Sivan". The Hindu. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  40. ^ "Department of Space,Annual Report 2020-21" (PDF). 4 March 2021. Archived (PDF) from the original on 4 March 2021. Retrieved 24 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. The satellite is slated for launch in the first quarter of 2021.
  41. ^ "ANNUAL REPORT 2020-2021" (PDF). ISRO. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  42. ^ "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.
  43. ^ "SSLV". Retrieved 11 July 2020.