ISRO to launch new SSLV rocket on August 7
The India Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has announced that it will be launching the much awaited new rocket, the small satellite launch vehicle, on August 7. The launch has been delayed due to the pandemic, but is seen as significant for India's 75th year of independence celebrations.
The SSLV will be launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. The launch is open for viewing to vaccinated citizens, with the registration link added to ISRO's Twitter post.
The SSLV was designed to be a small-lift launch vehicle to carry satellites to space at a fraction of the cost of the currently used Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). In light of the government's recent admission of having earned over $279 million in foreign satellite launches, the SSLV could provide a huge commercial boost in the future.
The maiden SSLV will be carrying the Earth Observation Satellite-2 (EOS-2), as well as the AzaadiSAT, which was designed by 750 rural students from across the country.
The EOS-2 has a lifespan of 10 months, and is being launched to help with India's attempts to map and develop several geographic information system (GIS) applications. Another well-known GIS, launched by the US, is the GPS.
The AzaadiSAT is a project organised by space startup SpaceKidz that brought together 10 girl students from 75 schools across the country to help design the satellite. This initiative was conducted to promote women in STEM education under the UN's initiative to designate 2022 the "Women in Space" year. Additionally, the number of schools was selected in homage to India's 75 years of independence.