The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has sold Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) dubbed the "Baby PSLV" to an American company Seattle-based Spaceflight Inc. The launch vehicle comes after ISRO's trusty Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. SSLV has a payload capacity of 500 kg to Low Earth orbit or 300 kg to Sun synchronous orbit for launching small satellites, with the capability to support multiple orbital drop-offs.
Reports suggest that a PSLV launch involves 600 officials while SSLV launch operations would be managed by a small team of about six people.
“The SSLV is a new launch vehicle conceived by the ISRO to meet the very large global need to launch small satellites into orbit. This new rocket will be able to place about 500 kg of satellites into low earth orbits. This new kid will offer a low-cost solution and it will have a very quick turnaround time and it can be literally launched on demand." NDTV quoted K Sivan, chairman of ISRO as saying.
Earlier, ISRO launched historic Chandrayaan-2 mission that will target a completely unexplored section of the Moon that is, its “South Polar region - Aitken Basin”. By conducting topographical studies and mineralogical analyses alongside a few other experiments on the Moon’s Surface, the ISRO’s ambitious mission aimed to get a better understanding of the Moon’s origin and its evolution. Importantly, if successful, the mission will make India the fourth country after Russia, the US and China to pull off a soft landing on the Moon.
Chandrayaan-2 has three elements including the Rover, the Lander and the Orbiter. As soon as the spacecraft will make a soft landing on the moon, the lander will separate from the Orbiter and then perform a series of complex manoeuvres comprising of tough braking and fine braking.