ISRO Plans to Transfer SSLV to Private Sector
New Delhi - The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has made the decision to transfer its Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) to the private sector after successfully conducting two development flights. The SSLV is designed to provide on-demand services for launching satellites weighing up to 500 kg into low-earth orbit. In order to facilitate the transfer, ISRO will be opting for a bidding process, according to a senior official.
"We will be transferring the SSLV completely to the private sector. Not just the manufacturing, but full transfer," stated the official.
The SSLV's first flight in August of last year encountered a failure due to vibration disturbance during second-stage separation. However, after conducting a thorough analysis and implementing corrective measures, ISRO achieved a successful launch in February. During the successful flight, the SSLV placed the ISRO's EOS-07 satellite, the US-based firm Antaris' Janus-1 satellite, and Chennai-based space start-up Space Kidz's AzaadiSAT-2 satellite into a 450-km circular orbit.
The SSLV is specifically designed to cater to the needs of nano and micro-satellites weighing less than 10 kg and 100 kg, respectively. It offers on-demand launch services, eliminating the need for clients to wait for larger rockets as co-passengers.
In a previous development, ISRO awarded a contract to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Larsen and Toubro for the construction of five polar satellite launch vehicles (PSLVs), which have been instrumental in ISRO's success with 54 launches.
According to a recent report by the Indian Space Association and EY India, the commercial satellite launch services sector in India could contribute $13 billion to the economy by 2025.
The SSLV is the sixth launch vehicle developed by ISRO, following the Satellite Launch Vehicle-3 (SLV-3), Advanced Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV), Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), and Launch Vehicle Mark-3 (LVM-3). The SLV-3 and ASLV have since been retired.