What is PSLV? Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III Continuation Programme (Download PDF)


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Union Cabinet approved Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) Continuation Programme (Phase 6) & funding of 30 PSLV operational flights under Programme. Programme will meet launch requirement of satellites for Earth observation, Navigation & Space Sciences.

Image of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle

Image of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle

Image of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle

  • This will ensure continuity of production in Indian industry.

Major Impact of PSLV Program

  • Operationalisation of PSLV made country self-reliant in launching capability of satellites for earth observation, disaster management, navigation & space sciences. PSLV Continuation programme will sustain this capability & self-reliance in launching of similar satellites for national requirements.

  • PSLV Continuation Programme – Phase 6 will meet demand for launch of satellites at frequency up to 8 launches per year, w/maximal participation by Indian industry.

  • All operational flights would be completed during period 2019 - 2024.


Image of Background of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle

Image of Background of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle

Image of Background of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle

  • PSLV has emerged as versatile launch vehicle to carry out Sun-Synchronous Polar Orbit (SSPO), Geo-synchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) & low inclination Low Earth Orbit (LEO) missions.

  • W/recent successful launch of PSLV-C41 on 12th April, 2018, PSLV has completed 3 developmental & 43 operational flights & last 41 flights are successful.

  • PSLV has established itself as workhorse vehicle for national satellites w/production capacity that would enable responding fast to commercial launch opportunities.

What is PSLV?

  • Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) is the third generation launch vehicle of India. It is the first Indian launch vehicle to be equipped with liquid stages.
  • After its first successful launch in October 1994, PSLV emerged as the reliable and versatile workhorse launch vehicle of India with 39 consecutively successful missions by June 2017.

Workhorse of ISRO: Milestones for PSLV

  • During 1994 - 2017 vehicle launched 48 Indian satellites and 209 satellites for customers from abroad.
  • Vehicle successfully launched two spacecraft – Chandrayaan-1 in 2008 and Mars Orbiter Spacecraft in 2013 – that later traveled to Moon and Mars respectively.
  • PSLV earned its title ‘the Workhorse of ISRO’ through consistently delivering various satellites to Low Earth Orbits, particularly the IRS series of satellites. It can take up to 1, 750 kg of payload to Sun-Synchronous Polar Orbits of 600 km altitude.
Image of Milestones for PSLV

Image of Milestones for PSLV

Image of Milestones for PSLV

Payload to Sub GTO (Geosynchronous Trans Orbit): 1, 425 Kg

  • Due to its unmatched reliability, PSLV has been used to launch various satellites into Geosynchronous and Geostationary orbits, like satellites from the IRNSS constellation.

Fourth Stage: PS4

The PS4 is the uppermost stage of PSLV, comprising of two Earth storable liquid engines.

  • Engine: 2 x PS-4

  • Fuel: MMH + MON

  • Max. Thrust: 7.6 x 2 kN

Third Stage: PS3

The third stage of PSLV is a solid rocket motor that provides the upper stages high thrust after the atmospheric phase of the launch.

  • Fuel: HTPB

  • Max. Thrust: 240 kN

Second Stage: PS2

PSLV uses an Earth storable liquid rocket engine for its second stage, know as the Vikas engine, developed by Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre.

  • Engine: Vikas

  • Fuel: UDMH + N2O4

  • Max. Thrust: 799 kN

First Stage: PS1

PSLV uses the S139 solid rocket motor that is augmented by 6 solid strap-on boosters.

  • Engine: S139

  • Fuel: HTPB

  • Max. Thrust: 4800 kN

Strap-on Motors

PSLV uses 6 solid rocket strap-on motors to augment the thrust provided by the first stage in its PSLV-G and PSLV-XL variants. However, strap-ons are not used in the core alone version (PSLV-CA).

  • Fuel: HTPB

  • Max. Thrust: 719 kN

- Published/Last Modified on: August 22, 2018


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