The first launch of ISRO’s new launch vehicle SSLV (SSLV) is coming soon. The test of the first solid fuel stage of the new rocket has been successfully completed. The first solid booster stage test was held at 12.05 am on Monday at Sriharikota. Other parts of the rocket had already been tested. The crucial test leading up to the first launch is now complete. ISRO has announced that the first launch of SSLV will take place in May.

The Small Satellite Launch Vehicle or SSLV is a small rocket with three solid fuel stages. The final stage of the rocket also has a speed control engine (Velocity Trimming Module) that uses liquid fuel.

SSLV can be used to place a satellite weighing up to 500 kg in low Earth orbit. At 34 meters high and 2 meters in diameter, the SSLV weighs 120 tons. The Vikram Sarabhai Space Center launch vehicle in Thiruvananthapuram was finalized in December 2018.

The goal of the SSLV project is to launch smaller satellites at a lower cost than PSLV. It is expected to cost between 30 crore and 35 crore to manufacture an SSLV. It is also expected that an SSLV will be ready for launch in much less time than ISRO’s other launch vehicles, the PSLV and GSLV.

Although the first launches of SSLV were carried out by ISRO itself, plans are afoot to hand over the construction of this rocket to the private sector in the future. ISL’s commercial arm, New Space India Limited, will take advantage of SSLV’s market potential.

It is not clear which satellite will be sent as payload on the first launch of ISRO SSLV. The information is that it could be the Earth observation satellite EOS 02 or any microsato.

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