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ISRO’s first SSLV (Small Satellite Launch Vehicle) mission successfully launched last Sunday. But something went wrong almost immediately when ISRO Chairman S Somnath announced that the SSLV D1 mission had suffered a data loss. It wasn’t long before ISRO announced that the two satellites deployed by the launch vehicle would not be useful because they were placed in the wrong orbit. From the partially successful SSLV launch to video from China’s space station, here’s our weekly roundup of space news.
ISRO’s first SSLV launch was a partial success
ISRO’s first SSLV mission took off from the Sriharikota spaceport on Sunday, August 7 at 9:18 am, but the jubilation in the mission control room quickly turned to panic as the mission suffered a “data loss”.
The SSLV rocket carried the EOS-2 Earth observation satellite and the AzaadiSAT student satellite. It successfully completed all phases of the launch except the final phase when ISRO scientists observed data loss. Then, when deploying the satellites, the launch vehicle placed them in an elliptical orbit of 356 km by 76 km instead of a circular orbit of 356 km.
ISRO announced that the two satellites would no longer be useful, but PTI reported that space commission member AS Kiran Kumar said that SSLV D1 would not be a hindrance and that the space agency would attempt another flight soon. But before that, the commission will analyze the launch and make recommendations for improvement. After implementing the recommendations, ISRO will return for another attempt with SSLV-D2.
Russia launched an Iranian satellite
A Russian rocket carrying an Iranian satellite reportedly successfully launched on Tuesday as the two countries seek to build closer ties in the face of Western sanctions. Reuters reported that the remote sensing satellite named “Khajjam” was launched by a Russian Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 11:22 GMT on Tuesday.
Tehran says the satellite is intended for scientific research, including radiation and environmental monitoring for agricultural purposes. Russia has been trying to deepen its ties with Iran since it launched its invasion of Ukraine on February 24. Tehran rejected claims that Moscow could use the satellite to boost its intelligence capabilities in Ukraine, saying Iran would have full control of it “from day one”. one.”
Northrop chose the Firefly to replace the Russian engines
Northrop Grumman announced it is working with rocket startup Firefly Aerospace to build a new version of its Antares rocket after its Russian-made engines were cut off from the United States following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Antares is the rocket used by NASA to carry cargo to the International Space Station. The new version, which is being jointly developed, will use the seven Miranda engines that Firefly is currently developing. The two companies will also later work on an entirely new launch vehicle.
NASA launches Artemis I spacecraft
NASA’s first Artemis mission is not expected to launch until Aug. 29, during which the space agency will send various science and technology payloads to the moon before sending another crewed mission to Earth’s satellite. Artemis I will be the first in a series of increasingly complex missions to the Moon. During the mission, the SLS (Space Launch System) rocket will carry ten shoebox-sized “CubeSats” along with other scientific research payloads.
The US space agency is targeting an August 18 date to move SLS and the Orion spacecraft to Launchpad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA will broadcast the link live via its website and YouTube channel, but before that it will hold a teleconference to discuss the Artemis I mission and science payload.
Europe could turn to SpaceX
Reuters reports that the European Space Agency (ESA) is in preliminary technical talks with Elon Musk’s Space X. This could lead to the agency temporarily using one of SpaceX’s launch vehicles after blocking access to Russia’s Soyuz rockets. In addition to SpaceX, the Japanese and Indian space agencies are also strong contenders to help the agency fill the temporary gap.
Europe has so far used Italy’s Vega rocket for light payloads, Russia’s Soyuz for medium and Ariane 5 for heavy missions. But since the development of Ariane 6, designed in two versions to replace Ariane 5 and Soyuz, has been delayed until next year, ESA needs a temporary replacement.