PSLV Full Form

What is the full form of PSLV?

The full form of PSLV is Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. It is an Indian expendable launch vehicle that has been developed and operated by ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization). It is India’s third-generation launch vehicle and also India’s first liquid-stage satellite launch vehicle. PSLV enabled India to launch its IRS (Indian Remote Sensing) satellites for IRS  into Sun-synchronous orbits. It is also capable of launching smaller satellites in GTO (geostationary transfer orbit).

  • The first successful launch of PSLV was in October 1994.
  • On 15 February 2017, India used PSLV to launch 104 satellites in the sun-synchronous orbit.
  • PSLV has launched 345 foreign satellites till June 2022.
  • It has also launched two spacecraft: Chandrayan-1 in 2008 and Mars Orbiter in 2013. These spacecraft eventually travelled to the Moon and Mars, respectively.

Characteristics of PSLV

The main specifications of the PSLV are listed below.

  • The height of the vehicle is 44.4 m
  • The diameter of the vehicle is 2.8 m
  • The lift-off mass is 320 tonnes
  • The number of stages is 4
  • The four variants are PSLV-CA, PSLV-DL, PSLV-QL, PSLV-XL
  • The vehicle was first launched on 20 September 1993.

Technical specification of PSLV

  • PSLV is named “the Workhorse of ISRO” due to repeatedly launching multiple satellites to Low Earth Orbits.
  • Up to 1,750 kg of load can be transported to the Sun-Synchronous Polar Orbits at an altitude of 600 km.
  • To raise the thrust in its PSLV-XL version in the first stage, it is equipped with six solid rocket strap-on engines.
  • It is a four-stage launch vehicle that alternately utilises solid and liquid propulsion systems, i.e., solid rocket engines are used in the first & third stages. In contrast, liquid rocket engines are used in the second & fourth stages.
  • PS1 (First stage) – The S139 solid rocket motor is used in the first stage, supplemented by six solid strap-on boosters. In this process, the maximum thrust produced is 4800 kN.
  • PS2 (Second Stage) – For the second stage of the PSLV, an Earth-storable liquid rocket engine has been used. It is recognised as the Vikas engine, developed by Liquid Propulsion System Centre is developing. The maximum thrust produced is 799 kN.
  • PS3 (Third stage) – After the atmospheric phase, a solid rocket motor offers the required thrust at the upper stages. The maximum thrust produced is 240 kN.
  • PS4 (Fourth Stage) – It is PSLV’s ultimate level. It contains two Earth-storable liquid engines. In this process, the maximum thrust produced is 7.3 X 2 kN.


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