ISRO to launch first dedicated SSLV commercial mission in 2026

ISRO to launch first dedicated SSLV commercial mission in 2026

The SSLV rocket will lift off on its second developmental flight on February 10, 2023 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre-SHAR, Sriharikota.

The SSLV rocket lifts off on its second developmental flight from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre-SHAR, Sriharikota, on February 10, 2023. | Photo courtesy: Ragu R./The Hindu

ISRO's commercial arm NSIL on June 26 said its latest rocket, the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV), will make its first dedicated commercial launch when it puts into orbit the Optimus satellite – built by Australia-based Space Machines Company.

Also read: ISRO successfully launches second developmental flight of SSLV with three satellites from Sriharikota

The announcement was jointly made by NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) and Space Machines Company at the India Space Congress organised by Satcom Industry Association-India.

This pioneering collaboration sets the stage for the launch of Space Machines Company's second Optimus spacecraft, weighing 450 kg, the heaviest Australian-designed and built spacecraft to date, a statement issued by NSIL said.

“This will be the first dedicated commercial launch of SSLV. The first commercial launch was of 10-kg nanosatellite Janus under SSLV-D2 mission,” NSIL Chairman and Managing Director Radhakrishnan Durairaj told PTI.

The satellite is scheduled to be launched via SSLV in 2026, this mission will be a defining moment for India and Australia in the field of space cooperation.

The mission, called Space Maitri (Australia-India Mission for Technology, Research and Innovation), is an important milestone in the strategic partnership between Australia and India in the space sector, which will promote closer ties between commercial, institutional and government space organisations of the two countries, NSIL said.

“By combining our innovative spacecraft capabilities with India's proven launch expertise, we are not only strengthening the ties between our countries' space sectors, but also demonstrating our shared commitment to sustainable space operations,” said Rajat Kulshreshtha, CEO and co-founder of Space Machines Company.

By focusing on debris management and sustainability, the mission is in line with the core values ​​and objectives of both countries, promoting responsible space operations and mitigating the growing threat of space debris.

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