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ISRO Launched Maiden SSLV, suffers with upper stage and dataloss issues

The SSLV-D1 rocket launched with 2 satellites and could not place in desired orbits.

SSLV-D1 liftoff (Photo: ISRO)

Chennai, August 07, 2022 The Small Satellite Launch Vehicle or SSLV carrying EOS-2 and Azaadisat satellites lifted off from the first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 9.18am IST (03:48 UTC), after the countdown for the mission began at 2:26am. However, The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Sunday said its SSLV-D1/EOS-02 mission suffered a data loss in its terminal phase.

"We are processing the data to conclude on the final outcome of the mission with respect to whether a stable orbit is achieved or not," said ISRO chairman S Somanath in post-flight announcement.

All the stages performed normal. Both the satellites were injected. But, the orbit achieved was less than expected, which makes it unstable. - ISRO

During the Broadcast, It is noted that the Telemetry was lost about 9 minutes into the mission. The rocket got close to orbit but may have fallen a bit short, the third and VTM stage underperformed, compared to its preliminary timeline published by ISRO.

Astronomer Dr Jonathan McDowell observed the orbital elements of the 3rd and VTM stages, did not reach the desired orbit and the stages and payload would have impacted the Pacific around 0431 UTC.

Update from ISRO: SSLV-D1 placed the satellites into 356 km x 76 km elliptical orbit instead of 356 km circular orbit. Satellites are no longer usable. The issue is reasonably identified. Failure of a logic to identify a sensor failure and go for a salvage action caused the deviation.

A committee would analyze and recommend. With the implementation of the recommendations, ISRO will come back soon with SSLV-D2.

A detailed statement by Chairman, ISRO will be uploaded soon.