ISRO’s Maiden SSLV Mission Failed, Suffered data loss at the Final Stage

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ISRO SSLV Mission Failed | ISRO’s Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) mission was unsuccessful despite successfully launching India’s brand-new rocket worth Rs 56 crore on its first flight. The two satellites that were delivered onboard the rocket were rendered useless, which is why the mission was a disaster. In this article, we will know what went wrong during the mission and why it resulted in a failure.

ISRO SSLV Mission Failed: Highlights

  • ISRO planned to launch Earth Observation Satellite EOS-2 & Co-passenger Student satellites AzaadiSAT on the 7th of August.
  • SSLV-D1 placed the satellites into a 356 km x 76 km elliptical orbit instead of a 356 km circular orbit.
  • The satellites entered the wrong orbit due to data loss at the final stage.
  • Sensor failure made the satellites no longer usable. 
  • A committee at ISRO would investigate and provide suggestions and it would return soon with SSLV-D2.

ISRO SSLV Mission Phases

  • 9:18AM: SSLV Carrying EOS-2 & Azaadisat satellites from Sriharikota launched.
  • 10:00AM: Data loss was reported 12 minutes into the terminal stage of the rocket.
  • 2:30PM: Orbit achieved was less than expected, which made it unstable.
  • 2:45PM: Satellites placed in the wrong orbit, no longer usable. 

ISRO SSLV Mission Failed: ISRO SSLV Mission Timeline 

On Sunday at around 9:18 am, the 120-ton, 34-meter-tall SSLV-D1 was launched from the launch site in Sriharikota. Since all of the solid fuel-fueled engines operated regularly, the rocket launch progressed smoothly and successfully. 

According to the flight plan, the launch vehicle was to put the two satellites on board into orbit after around 12 minutes of travel. It had to launch the EOS-2 satellite first, and then the AZAADISAT a short while later. The mission ran into difficulty at this point.

ISRO SSLV Mission Failed | The Mission Control Center at the rocket port became silent shortly after ISRO declared the timely separation of the two satellites. All rocket stages reportedly performed “as predicted” throughout the mission’s completion, according to the announcement. ISRO did acknowledge, though, that “some data loss in the rocket’s terminal stage.”

A briefing given by ISRO a few hours after the launch stated that the satellites were useless because “the orbit reached was shorter than intended, which makes it unstable.”

What went wrong during the SSLV mission? 

  • The SSLV-D1 was able to launch into space, however, it was unable to finish its mission. A lower orbit meant that satellites would not survive in space and would fall back to Earth.
  • ISRO Chairman S. Somanath explained this, saying that “SSLV-D1 placed the satellites into a 356 km x 76 km elliptical orbit instead of a 356 km circular orbit because 76 km is the lowest point close to the surface of the planet.”
  • The satellites wouldn’t remain in such an orbit for very long before returning to Earth, he continued.
  • The top scientist stated, “The two satellites have already descended from that orbit and are no longer functional.”

ISRO’s Two Satellites explained 

An experimental imaging satellite with a quick turnaround time and great spatial resolution, the 145 kg EOS-2. The microsatellite series of spacecraft included the EOS-02.

■ Also Read | James Webb Space Telescope: How the Deepest Photos of the Universe Appear?

An 8U Cubesat called Azaadisat weighs about 8 kg. It conducts Femto-experiments with 75 different payloads, each weighing about 50g. The payloads were constructed by female students from rural areas of the nation. The payloads include a long-range transponder, a selfie camera, a solid-state PIN diode-based radiation counter to measure the ionizing radiation in its orbit, and a UHF-VHF transponder operating in ham radio frequency to facilitate data and speech transfer for amateur radio operators.

Malfunctioning Sensor became the cause of Failure

  • It appears that a malfunctioning sensor was the cause of the mission’s failure. The departure, according to ISRO, was caused by a “failure of logic to identify a sensor failure and move for salvage operations.”
  • Nevertheless, aside from the “anomaly” that caused the mission to fail, the overall design of ISRO’s most recent rocket operated well. The fact that the rocket’s many stages all operated as intended has pleased scientists.
  • According to the space agency, an expert-led team will examine the mission and determine what went wrong when the satellites were placed in an undesirable orbit. After these adjustments and their revalidations, the agency will return with the second SSLV developmental flight, the ISRO chairman added.

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FAQs about ISRO’s Maiden SSLV Mission

What is the SSLV mission?

ISRO developed a small satellite launch vehicle (SSLV) to witness the launch of satellites of up to 500 kg weight to Low Earth Orbits on a ‘launch-on-demand’ basis.

Why IS SSLV launched?

The SSLV design drivers are low cost and have low turnaround time, launch-on-demand feasibility, flexibility in accommodating multiple satellites, minimal launch infrastructure requirements, and much more.

Who made SSLV?

The Indian Space Agency 

What is the full form of SSLV?

Small Satellite Launch Vehicle

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