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India’s space agency, ISRO, is all set for the third and final developmental flight of its Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV), designated SSLV-D3. The launch is scheduled for NET (Not Earlier Than) July 10th, 2024, marking a significant milestone towards making SSLV fully operational.

SSLV is a cost-effective launch vehicle specifically designed for mini, micro, and nano satellites. Built for industry production, it caters to the growing demand for a launch-on-demand platform for these smaller satellites. The vehicle boasts a unique three-stage configuration. The first three stages utilize solid propulsion, while the terminal stage employs a liquid propulsion-based Velocity Trimming Module (VTM) for precise orbital insertion.

The first developmental flight of SSLV, named SSLV-D1, took place on August 7th, 2022. Unfortunately, this mission did not achieve its intended objectives. However, ISRO learned valuable lessons from this flight and incorporated them into the next iteration.

The second developmental flight, SSLV-D2, launched successfully on February 10th, 2023, injecting three satellites – EOS-07, Janus-1, and AzaadiSAT-2 – into their designated 450 km circular orbit within a 15-minute flight.

With the successful SSLV-D2 mission, ISRO is now poised for the final developmental flight, SSLV-D3. A successful launch of SSLV-D3 will pave the way for declaring SSLV fully operational, opening doors for more frequent and cost-effective launches of mini, micro, and nano satellites.