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In its second development flight, the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV-D2) was launched successfully from the first launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. It will place the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) earth observation satellite EOS-07 and two co-passenger satellites — Janus-1 and AzaadiSat2 — developed by start-ups, in a 450-km circular orbit around the Earth.


GS III: Science and Technolog

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What’s the aim of the launch?
  2. Janus-1
  3. AzaadiSat2

What’s the aim of the launch?

  • The new vehicle was developed to capture the emerging small and micro satellite commercial market, with launches offered on demand.
  • The rocket can be assembled by a small team in only a few days, compared to the six months and around 600 people it takes for ISRO’s workhorse PSLV.


  • Janus-1 is a technology demonstrator satellite developed by US-based Antaris, in collaboration with Indian firms XDLinks and Ananth Technologies.
  • The goal is to create a standardized satellite bus, where multiple payloads can be attached like lego blocks, to allow for quick and cost-effective launches.
  • The company can either handle the operations for the client or provide them access to control the platform.
  • The satellite bus is the main structure of the satellite that holds the payloads, which can be used for various purposes such as earth observation, signal monitoring, and ship tracking.
  • The company aims to produce satellite buses of different sizes to accommodate satellites weighing around 100 kg.
  • Janus-1 weighs only 10.2 kg and is a six-unit cube satellite with five payloads, including two from Singapore and one each from Kenya, Australia, and Indonesia.
  • The entire satellite was built in 10 months, which is less than half the usual time required to manufacture satellites of this size.


  • AzaadiSat2 is a payload developed by 750 girl students from India and is being launched by SpaceKidzIndia. The payloads have been built to promote space awareness among children.
  • AzaadiSat2 is a unique project aimed at promoting space awareness among children and helping young students achieve their dreams of becoming space scientists. The launch of the satellite will be a special moment for the students who developed the payloads, as they will witness their hard work come to life.
Payload Details:
  • The payloads include a LoRa amateur radio, a sensor to measure radiation levels in space, and sensors to monitor the health of the satellite such as temperature, reset count, and inertial data.
  • The satellite has an additional feature of being expandable with a spring mechanism-based external frame that opens up once in orbit, increasing the satellite’s size by four times.
  • The external frame will host a new, cheaper type of solar panel to provide energy to the satellite, addressing the challenge of small satellites to sustain for longer durations in space.
  • The small size of the satellite at launch and its bigger power pack make it easier to fit in launch vehicles and saves start-ups money on launch services.
  • 150 of the 750 students who developed some of the payloads will be present at the launch site in Sriharikota.
Special Features:
  • The satellite will carry the G20 logo to space and the NCC song, celebrating 75 years of the organization.
  • The satellite will also carry a “space song” about girl children and students of rural India dreaming of becoming space scientists.

What are the launch vehicles used by ISRO?

Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV):Since its initial launch in 1994, PSLV has served as ISRO’s primary rocket. However, compared to those deployed in the 1990s, today’s PSLV is significantly more advanced and powerful. The PSLV is the most dependable rocket that ISRO has employed to date, with 52 of its 54 flights being successful. It is the first Indian launch vehicle to be fitted with liquid stages. It successfully launched two spacecraft that later travelled to the Moon and Mars, namely Chandrayaan-1 in 2008 and Mars Orbiter Spacecraft in 2013. There are numerous variations of the two launch vehicles that ISRO currently utilises, the PSLV and GSLV (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle).  
Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV):The considerably more potent GSLV rocket is designed to lift heavier satellites farther into space. 18 missions have been completed by GSLV rockets to this point, four of them were unsuccessful. Lowering earth orbits may require satellites weighing 10,000 kg. The third stage of the GSLV Mk II is the indigenously developed Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS), and the Mk-III variants have rendered ISRO completely self-sufficient for launching its satellites. The European Arianne launch vehicle was previously utilised to carry its heavier satellites into orbit.  
Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV):SSLV is designed to provide affordable launch services for satellites up to 500 kg in response to the growing demand for small and micro-satellites around the world. It is intended to launch the indigenous EOS-03 earth observation satellite into orbit.

-Source: The Hindu

March 2024