PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle)
A four-stage Indian launch vehicle capable of placing a one-ton payload
into polar orbit. Its development allows India to launch its own IRS (India
Resource Satellite) missions, rather than relying on Russian launch services.
The PSLV uses a four-stage core vehicle surrounded by six strap-on boosters
of the type developed for the ASLV. At liftoff
only two of the strap-ons and the bottom stage of the core vehicle are ignited.
The other four boosters are fired at an altitude of 3 km. The core vehicle
is unusual in having two solid-propellant stages (1 and 3) and two liquid,
hypergolic stages (2 and 4). The PSLV was first launched on Sep. 20, 1993,
became operational in March 1996, and has since successfully launched several
payloads, including IRS-P4 (Oceansat) and two piggyback satellites, the
Korean KITSAT and the German TUBSAT, on May 26,1999. A second successful
triple launch for PSLV took place on Oct. 22, 2001, when the German BIRD,
the Belgian PROBA, and the Indian TES satellites were placed into their
correct orbits by the PSLV-3C mission (see accompanying photo of launch).
|payload to polar orbit
| first stage (+
| second stage
| third stage
| fourth stage
MISSILES, AND LAUNCH VEHICLES