SLV-3 launch on August 10, 1979

The Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV) project was born out of the need for achieving indigenous satellite launch capability for communications, remote sensing and meteorology. SLV3, India's first experimental launch vehicle, was capable of placing 40 kg class payloads in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). It was an all solid, four stage, 22m tall vehicle, weighing 17 ton. The first experimental flight of SLV3, in August 1979, was only partially successful. The next launch on July 18, 1980 from Sriharikota Range (SHAR), successfully placed Rohini satellite, RS-1, into the orbit, thereby making India the sixth member of an exclusive club of space-faring nations. SLV3 employed open loop guidance with stored pitch program to steer the vehicle in flight along a pre-determined trajectory. Two more launches were held in May 1981 and April 1983, taking Rohini satellites carrying remote sensing sensors into orbit.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been touching new heights with every passing year and while it was recently revealed by Dr. Jitendra Singh, who is Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for DoNER (Development of North Eastern Region), that ISRO launched 202 “foreign” satellites, out of the 237 launched since 1993, the Indian space agency is now celebrating the 31st anniversary of its first ever experimental flight of the SLV-3.

The Indian Space Research Organisation started working on a new project in the early 1970s called as the Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV) and major idea behind this project was to develop new technologies which are capable of launching satellites into space. For the unknown, on August 10, 1979, ISRO launched its first Satellite Launch Vehicle named as the SLV-3 and while it was a failure, it laid the path of future success of the Indian space organisations.

Tow famous sons of India, former President APJ Abdul Kalam with ISRO Chief Satish Dhawan 

Here are some facts about the SLV-3 launch and importance of August 10, 1979, for ISRO

1. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam led the SLV-3 project which was India's first experimental flight which launched on August 10, 1979.

2. SLV-3 was a 4-stage vehicle which weighed around 17 tonnes and was 22 metres in height. It was capable of placing 40 kilograms of class payloads in Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

3. SLV-3 carried the Rohini Technology payload, however, ISRO was not able to place the satellite in the orbit.

4. After 317 seconds of its launch, the Satellite Launch Vehicle crashed into the Bay of Bengal due to a faulty valve.

5. On July 18, 1980, the SLV-3 was launched successfully from the Sriharikota Range and the Rohini Satellite was finally placed into the orbit.

6. The July 18, 1980 launch of the SLV-3 made India the sixth exclusive member of the club of countries which had their respective satellites placed into the orbit.

7. Two more launches were held in May 1981 and April 1983, after the SLV-3 launch on July 18, 1980, and Rohini satellites which carried remote sensing sensors were successfully placed into the orbit.

8. The success of the Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV) project laid the path for more advanced launch vehicle such as the PSLV, ASLV, and GSLV.

Since the first failed attempt with the SLV-3, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has achieved several milestones including the launch of a total of 104 satellites in just one attempt with the workhorse rocket PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle). This year, the Indian space organisation is all geared up to launch two moon missions, namely the Chandrayaan-2 and Team Indus Lander.

SLV-3 Launch Vehicle & the Rohini Satellite mated to 4th stage