ISRO’s New Communication Satellite All Set For Launch Today; Followed By Maiden SSLV

ISRO has announced that the new Communication Satellite is set to be launched aboard India’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) on December 17 at 3:41PM. This comes just about one month after the first launch mission of the year.

Initially planned launch date was December 14 which was postponed due to sub-optimal weather conditions.

This will mark a milestone is our country as the new satellite is expected to provide coverage over the entire country for disaster management and satellite internet connection.

The 42nd communications satellite to be launched by the space agency, named CMS-01, will be the first in a new series of communication satellites by India after the INSAT and the GSAT series. The previous satellite launch had a different nomenclature called the Eos (Earth Observation Satellite). These satellites were names depending on the task and instrumentation that they carried. EOS-01 was previously titled RISAT-2BR2 which is short for Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT).

The new satellite is all set to replace the current GSAT-12 in orbit, launched in 2011.

Following this launch is the eagerly awaited launch of the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) with the capacity to launch a light 500kg satellite in the lower Earth orbit. It is expected to cost Rs30 crores while the PSLV cost Rs120 crores to manufacture.

By way of the time required to assemble the rocket, it would take about 7 days if done by a team of six. The PSLV on the other hand takes about 600 people and a few months to put together.

The SSLV has been developed by ISRO especially for commercial launches.

India had nearly 20 satellite and launch missions planned for the year but only one had gone through due to the pandemic. The completed satellite mission – GSAT-30 – was launched by the International Launcher Arianespace from Kourou, French Guiana, in January.