Isro’s latest rocket to carry US company’s satellite | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Isro’s latest rocket, Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV), is all set for launch with the space agency aiming for an early February launch carrying three payloads. While the main payload will be an Earth observation satellite – the EOS-7 – the mission is also expected to launch Janus-1 from US firm Antaris and a third payload from a domestic player.The Earth observation satellite SSLV is scheduled to carry will be in the small satellite class with its mass not exceeding 200kg, while the other two satellites sharing the ride will be smaller.According to Isro, SSLV is capable of launching around a 500kg satellite in a 500km planar orbit and its key features – low cost, low turn-around time, flexibility in accommodating multiple satellites, launch on demand feasibility, minimal launch infrastructure requirements, etc. – will make it a go-to launch vehicle for commercial launches in the future. However, with its maiden developmental mission having failed to put the satellite in a desired orbit on August 7, 2022, the second developmental flight scheduled now will be critical for the launch vehicle. Isro, sources indicated, could be carrying out more than two developmental flights of the new rocket before it is declared operational.The space agency has already indicated that SSLV would eventually be handed over to the industry for production. And, unlike with PSLV, where the contract with the industry – HAL-L&T consortium – is only for building the rocket, Isro is even likely to transfer technology with SSLV.In another significant development, satellites from Bharti-backed OneWeb – the second batch the UK firm will be launching on an Indian launch vehicle (GSLV-Mk3 or LVM3) – are scheduled to arrive at the Isro spaceport in Sriharikota on Friday. “OneWeb has already completed half the journey and is expected to arrive in India in the early hours of Friday,” a source confirmed.This is OneWeb’s second commercial mission using an Indian rocket after the first mission was carried out flawlessly by Isro, which was implementing a contract Space PSU NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) had with OneWeb. The launch is tentatively scheduled for March, but there’s no official confirmation about the date.On January 10, OneWeb confirmed the successful deployment of 40 satellites launched by SpaceX from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in the US. That launch was the firm’s 16th to date, with only a couple of more launches remaining to complete its first-generation constellation enabling global connectivity in 2023, the firm said in a statement. With 542 satellites now in orbit, OneWeb has more than 80% of its first-generation constellation launched and the LVM3 mission will add another 36 satellites to its constellation.

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