Satellites launched by SSLV in ‘wrong orbit, not usable’

Satellites launched by SSLV in ‘wrong orbit, not usable’

Satellites launched by SSLV in ‘wrong orbit, not usable’


For Prelims

About Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV):

  • SSLV is capable of carrying satellites which weigh less than or equal to 500 kg only.
  • The vehicle is used to launch satellites to Low Earth Orbit (LEO).
  • SSLV is ISRO’s lightest launch vehicle, weighing around 110 tons.
  • It is a three-stage launch vehicle which uses solid fuel in all its stages.

Different types of Orbits

  • Orbits are classified into three i.e., High Earth orbit, Medium Earth orbit, and Low Earth orbit.
High Earth orbit:
  • It is the farthest away from Earth at about 35,000 km. Weather satellites and some of the communication satellites are placed in this orbit.
Geosynchronous Orbit:
  • A special High Earth Orbit when a satellite reaches exactly 42,164 kilometers from the center of the Earth, in which its orbit matches Earth’s rotation.
  • The satellite seems to stay in place over a single longitude, though it may drift north to south.
Geostationary Orbit (GEO):
  • A satellite in a circular geosynchronous orbit directly over the equator will have a geostationary orbit i.e., it does not move at all relative to the ground. It is always directly over the same place on the Earth’s surface.
  • A geostationary orbit is extremely valuable for weather monitoring because satellites in this orbit provide a constant view of the same surface area.
  • Because geostationary satellites are always over a single location, they can also be useful for communication (phones, television, radio).
  • India’s navigational satellite constellation IRNSS has satellites in both Geostationary and Geosynchronous orbits
Medium Earth Orbit (MEO):
  • Medium Earth orbit is any of the orbits anywhere between LEO and GEO. It is very commonly used by navigation satellites like GPS and Europe’s Galileo systems.
  • MEO satellites do not have to track the path along the earth’s equator.
Low Earth Orbit (LEO):
  • It is normally at an altitude of less than 1000 km but could be as low as 160 km above Earth.
  • LEO satellites do not always have to follow a particular path around Earth and can follow a tilted plane.
  • This allows satellites to have more available routes in LEO, which is one of the reasons why LEO is a very commonly used orbit.
  • It is the orbit most commonly used for satellite imaging, as being near the surface allows it to take images of higher resolution.
  • The International Space Station (ISS) also follows this orbit, which allows for easier movement of people.
Polar orbit and Sun-synchronous orbit (SSO):
  • Satellites in polar orbits travel around the Earth from north to south rather than from west to east, nearly passing over Earth’s poles.
  • Satellites in SSO, travelling over the polar regions, are synchronous with the Sun.
  • This means they are synchronised to always be in the same ‘fixed’ position relative to the Sun.
  • A satellite in a Sun-synchronous orbit would usually be at an altitude of between 600 to 800 km.


Source The Hindu

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