ISRO launches its smallest rocket SSLV.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched the country’s Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) from the first launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, deploying two small satellites in a low-Earth orbit (LEO) of about 365km above the equator. The SSLV satellite included the Indian government’s experimental remote sensing satellite, the Earth Observation Satellite (EOS)-02, and a student satellite, called AzaadiSAT. The rocket was launched as part of a government outreach program and is said to include contributions from 75 female students from across the country to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) careers among women. The rocket is expected to be operated by New Space India Limited (NSIL), India’s commercial space operations arm, and compete with the likes of US-based private space companies such as SpaceX and Rocket Lab to make frequent launches.