- Uses of PSLV
- Launches so far
- Technical specifications
- Significance and achievements of PSLV
- PSLV C-57/ Aditya-L1 Mission
- PSLV-C56 / DS-SAR Mission (July 2023)
- PSLV C-55/TeLEOS-2 Mission (April 2023)
The PSLV is the third-generation satellite launch vehicle of India. It is an expandable system and was the first Indian Launch Vehicle to be equipped with Liquid Stage.
Note: ISRO has over the years realized 5 generations of rockets – SLV, ASLV, PSLV, GSLV, and GSLV-MK-III.
Where is PSLV used?
- It was developed to allow India to launch its Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellite into Sun synchronous orbit, a service that was, until the advent of the PSLV, commercially available only from Russia.
- PSLV can also launch small size satellites into Geostationary Transfer Orbit.
- It is one of the world’s most reliable launch vehicles.
Launches So Far
- Developed in early 1990s, its first launch in 1993 was a failure.
- First successful launch of PSLV took place in 1994 and till Aug 2023 (i.e., PSLV C-56), PSLV has had 58 launches with only two failures.
Technical Specifications of PSLV
- Payload to SSPO (sun synchronous polar orbit): 1,860 Kg
- Payload to Sub GTO: 1,425 Kg
Key features of PSLV Engines: PSLV has four stages using solid and liquid propulsion alternatively.
Expansion of capabilities: Strap on Motors
Key Significance and Achievements of PSLV
- Reliability: Only 2 failures in almost 3 decades of service and 58 launches.
- Commercial use: PSLV has launched more than 350 foreign satellites from 34 different countries so far.
- It has played significant role in various major ISRO missions (including Chandryaan-1, MOM, IRNSS system etc.)
- India’s Soft Power: PSLV by providing the capability to launch satellites for foreign countries enhances India’s soft power in the region.
- Many learnings from the development of PSLV has helped scientists develop several non-space applications like fire resistant tiles, better engines for missiles
Conclusion: Today, ISRO is playing a key role of connecting continents and people via its satellite launch business model. From education to mobile telephony/ communications and navigation to business, the footprint of ISRO is becoming all pervasive.
ISRO has announced that the much-awaited Aditya-L1 mission will launch on-board PSLV-C57 mission to study the sun.
- The launch of PSLV C-56 carrying DS-SAR satellite, along with 6 co-passengers [all 7 Singaporean satellites] was accomplished successfully on July 30, 2023.
- PSLV C-56 was configured in core alone model, similar to C-55.
- DS-SAR is a 360 kg satellite into a Near-equatorial Orbit (NEO) at 5 degrees inclination and 535 km altitude.
- After the launcher placed all the seven satellites into a 535 km circular orbit, PS4 stage was brought back to a lower orbit of 295 km X 300 orbit. This has been done so that the stage spends less time in space, reducing its duration from over two decades to less than two months, before re-entering into the earth’s orbit.
- PSLV C-55/ TeLEOS-2 was launched successfully on April 22, 2023, from SDSC-SHAR, Sriharikota.
- This is a dedicated commercial mission through NSIL with TeLEOS-2 as primary satellite and Lumelite-4 as a co-passenger satellite.
- The satellite weigh about 741 kg and 16 kg Both belong to Singapore.
- POEM-2: The mission has the PSLV Orbital Experiment Module (POEM), where the spent PS4 stage of the launch vehicle would be utilized as an orbital platform to carryout scientific experiment through non-separating payloads. The payloads belong to ISRO, Bellatrix, Dhruva Space, and Indian Institute of Astrophysics.
- Why is Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) considering the workhorse of ISRO? Discuss the capabilities and achievements of PSLV [15 marks, 250 words]