ISRO has made plans to launch Earth observation satellites for monitoring border areas and will launch the SSLV rocket later this year, Dr. Jitendra Singh said

Union Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Jitendra Singh, on Wednesday, revealed that the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has readied plans to launch Earth-observation satellites to monitor the border areas and areas prone to natural disasters. In a reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, the Minister further revealed that ISRO, along with the Department of Space (DoS), is preparing for the launch of the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) later this year.

"ISRO and DoS has drawn plans to launch the Earth observation satellites for providing data for natural resource management, weather advisories, ocean surface parameter retrieval, and disaster support management", the Minister said in his response. He further revealed that the satellites will have a global operational capability.

ISRO's Plans To Launch A Low-Cost Satellite Launch Vehicle

Dr. Singh also revealed ISRO's plans to launch the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) in the third quarter of 2022 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. Responding to the question of whether SSLV's technology is different than the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and whether it is more cost-effective, Dr. Singh said that ISRO has developed the SSLV as a cost-effective, three-stage, all-solid launch vehicle.

Thanks to ISRO's vast experience in solid propulsion and proven design practice, the SSLV is capable of carrying payloads weighing 55 kg to 500 km planar orbit or 300 kg to Sun-synchronous Polar Orbit.

"The major technologies developed as part of the realization of SSLV are flexible nozzle control with electro-mechanical actuators for all stages, miniaturized avionics, and a velocity trimming module in the upper stage for premise satellite injection", the Minister responded.

According to ISRO, the SSLV is being developed to cater to the emerging global small satellite launch service market. This new class of Indian rockets is being developed by NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) and would prove beneficial for a gamut of reasons. First, the rocket would reduce the mission turn-around time allowing for an on-demand launch. It would also offer flexibility in accommodating multiple satellites, would be cost-effective and would require minimum infrastructure for orbital launches.