CHENNAI: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) rocket launch station at Sriharikota has resumed work partially to carry out the critical and essential activities related to the ambitious Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) project.
Two key facilities, Solid Propellant Plant (SPP) and Solid Propellant Rocket Booster Plant (SPROB), have opened for limited operations ten days after they were shutdown. SSLV rocket, a smaller counterpart of the PSLV that ISRO developed to launch small satellites more frequently, maiden launch was planned this year. However, the pandemic has crippled ISRO’s operations.
Officials told TNIE that at least two launched would happen by this year end. Sources said SSLV casting was planned for September 4 and the premixing operation will commence from August 27. In an official communication, accessed by Express, Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC Shar) controller V Kumbakarnan said: “In view of the prevailing Covid-19 situations in SDSC Shar, it is decided that SPP and SPROB will function with required staff to carry out the critical/essential activities related to SSLV with effect from August 25 until further orders.
Roster shall be drawn from the staff in SPP, SPROB and other participating entities for attending the duties.” Apart from SPP and SPROB, other entities/facilities of SDSC shar will continue to function with minimum essential/skeletal staff. All the employees other than essential services/identified employees of SPP and SPROB shall work from home and should be available on telephone and electronic means of communication, according to the new working modalities issued.