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India’s SSLV new smallsat rocket fails during static fire test

According to sources inside India’s space agency ISRO, a static fire test of the first stage of its new Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) rocket was a failure, and that the planned April inaugural launch will likely be delayed.

“Oscillation was noticed after 60 seconds into the test and nozzle was blown out near the bucket flange where it’s attached with the motor at around 95 seconds”, sources in the Bengaluru-headquartered space agency said. It was supposed to be tested for a total duration of about 110 seconds, officials said.

The Indian Space Research Organisation had targeted to launch the first development flight of SSLV (D1) in April and may now in all probability have to revise this schedule.

Fixing the problem and repeating the test will likely delay the first launch by six months at least.

SSLV is being designed by ISRO to compete against companies like Rocket Lab in the emerging smallsat market and is thus much cheaper and faster to assemble and launch.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


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