ISRO SSLV Mission Fails Despite Successful Launch; Where Did It Go Wrong?


ISRO has many ambitious plans lined up including the Gaganyaan mission. At the same time, ISRO launched its maiden small satellite launch vehicle or SSLV carrying Earth-observing satellites. However, this mission didn't go as planned. The satellites were placed in an elliptical orbit instead of a circular one.

ISRO SSLV Mission Fails Despite Successful Launch

ISRO Earth-Observing Satellites Fail To Orbit

ISRO later announced and posted the update on Twitter. The premier space organization of India announced that the Earth observation satellites were 'no longer usable'. "SSLV-D1 placed the satellites into 356 km x 76 km elliptical orbit instead of 356 km circular orbit. Satellites are no longer usable. Issue is reasonably identified," ISRO said in a statement.

To recall, the ISRO launched the maiden SSLV on Sunday at 9:18 AM. The SSLV was carrying two satellites on board, which was the EOS-02 or Earth Observing Satellite-02 and the AzaadiSAT developed by students. ISRO hoped the small launch rocket could complete the mission.

However, things went wrong onboard. The problem was first spotted on the SSLV's terminal stage, called the velocity trimming module (VTM). ISRO's plan of action involved the VTM to burn for 20 seconds at 653 seconds after launch. However, it burnt for only 0.1 seconds, denying the rocket the requisite altitude boost.

Luckily, both satellites onboard separated from the SSLV after the VTM burn failure. ISRO even tweeted: "All the stages performed normal. Both the satellites were injected." However, the "orbit achieved was less than expected, which makes it unstable," ISRO further explained. This is where the satellites entered the elliptical orbit and rendering them useless.

The Indian Space Research Organization also explained the cause of the failed mission. "Failure of a logic to identify a sensor failure and go for a salvage action caused the deviation," the organization said. In the latest update, we know that the satellites have already come down from orbit and they are no longer useable.


Despite the failed launch mission, ISRO is already gearing up for the next launch. "A committee would analyze and recommend. With the implementation of the recommendations, ISRO will come back soon with SSLV-D2," announced ISRO Chairperson S Somanath.

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