Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle

Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle

Model of the standard PSLV rocket
Function Medium lift launch system
Manufacturer ISRO
Country of origin India
Cost per launch PSLV-CA ₹90 crore($15M)[1]
Height 44 metres (144 ft)
Diameter 2.8 metres (9 ft 2 in)
Mass PSLV-G: 295,000 kg (650,000 lb)
PSLV-CA: 230,000 kg (510,000 lb)
PSLV-XL: 320,000 kg (710,000 lb)[2]
Stages 4
Payload to LEO(620 km) 3,800 kg (8,400 lb)
Payload to SSO(620 km) 1,750 kg (3,860 lb)[2]
Payload to Sub-GTO/GTO 1,425 kg (3,142 lb)[2]
Launch history
Status Active
Launch sites Sriharikota
Total launches 37
PSLV-G: 12
Successes 35
PSLV-G: 10
Failures 1 (PSLV-D1)
Partial failures 1 (PSLV-C1)
First flight PSLV: 20 September 1993
PSLV-CA: 23 April 2007
PSLV-XL: 22 October 2008
Notable payloads Chandrayaan-1, Mars Orbiter Mission, Astrosat, SRE-1, NAVIC
Boosters (PSLV-G) - S9
No. boosters 6
Thrust 510 kN (110,000 lbf)
Specific impulse 262 s (2.57 km/s)
Burn time 44 seconds
Fuel Hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene
Boosters (PSLV-XL) - S12
No. boosters 6
Thrust 719 kN (162,000 lbf)
Specific impulse 262 s (2.57 km/s)
Burn time 49 seconds
Fuel Hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene
First stage
Propellant mass 138,000 kg (304,000 lb)[2]
Motor S139
Thrust 4,800 kN (1,100,000 lbf)
Specific impulse 237 s (2.32 km/s) (sea level)
269 s (2.64 km/s) (vacuum)
Burn time 105 seconds
Fuel Hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene
Second stage
Engines 1 Vikas
Thrust 799 kN (180,000 lbf)
Specific impulse 293 s (2.87 km/s)
Burn time 158 seconds
Fuel N2O4/UDMH
Third stage
Motor HPS3
Thrust 240 kN (54,000 lbf)
Specific impulse 295 s (2.89 km/s)
Burn time 83 seconds
Fuel Hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene
Fourth stage
Engines 2 x L-2-5[3]
Thrust 15.2 kN (3,400 lbf)
Specific impulse 308 s (3.02 km/s)
Burn time 425 seconds

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, commonly known by its abbreviation PSLV, is an expendable launch system developed and operated by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It was developed to allow India to launch its Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellites into Sun-synchronous orbits, 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 (GTO).[4]

In the year 2015 alone India successfully launched 17 foreign satellites belonging to Canada, Indonesia, Singapore, United Kingdom and United States. Some notable payloads launched by PSLV include India's first lunar probe Chandrayaan-1, India's first interplanetary mission, Mangalyaan (Mars orbiter) and India's first space observatory, Astrosat.[2]


PSLV was designed and developed in the early 1990s at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre near Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. The inertial systems are developed by ISRO Inertial Systems Unit (IISU) at Thiruvananthapuram. The liquid propulsion stages for the second and fourth stages of PSLV as well as the reaction control systems are developed by the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) at Mahendragiri near Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu. The solid propellant motors are processed at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR)at Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh which also carries out launch operations.

The PSLV was first launched on 20 September 1993. The first and second stages performed as expected, but an attitude control problem led to the collision of the second and third stages at separation, and the payload failed to reach orbit.[5] After this initial setback, the PSLV successfully completed its second mission in 1994.[6] The fourth launch of PSLV suffered a partial failure in 1997, leaving its payload in a lower than planned orbit. Since then, the PSLV has launched 24 times with no further failures.[7]

PSLV continues to support Indian and foreign satellite launches especially for low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites. It has undergone several improvements with each subsequent version, especially those involving thrust, efficiency as well as weight. In November 2013, it was used to launch the Mars Orbiter Mission, India's first interplanetary probe.[8]

Vehicle description

The PSLV has four stages using solid and liquid propulsion systems alternately. The first stage, one of the largest solid rocket motors in the world, carries 138 tonnes of hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene urethane-bound (HTPB) propellant and develops a maximum thrust of about 4,800 kN. The 2.8-m diameter motor case is made of maraging steel and has an empty mass of 30,200 kg.[3] Pitch and yaw control during first stage flight is provided by the Secondary Injection Thrust Vector Control System (SITVC), which injects an aqueous solution of strontium perchlorate into the nozzle to produce asymmetric thrust. The solution is stored in two cylindrical aluminium tanks strapped to the solid rocket motor and pressurised with nitrogen. Roll control is provided by two small liquid engines on opposite sides of the stage, the Roll Control Thrusters (RCT).

On the PSLV and PSLV-XL, first stage thrust is augmented by six strap-on solid boosters. Four boosters are ground-lit and the remaining two ignite 25 seconds after launch. In the standard PSLV, each booster carries nine tonnes of propellant and produces 510 kN thrust. The PSLV-XL uses larger boosters which carry 12 tonnes of propellant and produce 719 kN thrust. Two strap-on boosters are equipped with SITVC for additional attitude control.[3] The PSLV-CA uses no strap-on boosters.

The second stage employs the Vikas engine and carries 41.5 tonnes (40 tonnes till C-5 mission) of liquid propellant  unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine (UDMH) as fuel and nitrogen tetroxide (N2O4) as oxidiser. It generates a maximum thrust of 800 kN (724 till C-5 mission). The engine is hydraulically gimbaled (±4°) to provide pitch and yaw control, while roll control is provided by two hot gas reaction control motors.

The third stage uses 7 tonnes of HTPB-based solid propellant and produces a maximum thrust of 240 kN. It has a Kevlar-polyamide fibre case and a submerged nozzle equipped with a flex-bearing-seal gimbaled nozzle (±2°) thrust-vector engine for pitch & yaw control. Roll control is provided by the fourth stage reaction control system (RCS).[3]

The fourth stage is powered by twin engines burning monomethylhydrazine (MMH) and mixed oxides of nitrogen (MON). Each engine generates 7.4 kN thrust and is gimbaled (±3°) to provide pitch, yaw & roll control during powered flight. Coast phase attitude control is provided by RCS. The stage carries 2,500 kg of propellant in the PSLV and PSLV-XL and 2,100 kg in the PSLV-CA.[9]

PSLV is developed with a group of wide-range control units.

Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4
Pitch SITVC Engine Gimbal Flex Nozzle Engine Gimbal
Yaw SITVC Engine Gimbal Flex Nozzle Engine Gimbal
Roll RCT and SITVC in 2 PSOMs HRCM Hot Gas Reaction Control Motor PS4 RCS PS4 RCS


ISRO has envisaged a number of variants of PSLV to cater to different mission requirements. There are currently three operational versions of the PSLV — the standard (PSLV), the core-alone (PSLV-CA) without the six strap-on booster motors, and the (PSLV-XL) version, which carries more solid fuel in its strap-on motors than the standard version.[10] These configurations provide wide variations in payload capabilities ranging from 3800 kg in LEO to 1800 kg in Sun-synchronous orbit.

PSLV-G (Operational)

The standard version of the PSLV (PSLV-G) has four stages using solid and liquid propulsion systems alternately and six strap-on boosters. It currently has capability to launch 1,678 kg to 622 km into Sun-synchronous orbit.

PSLV-CA (Operational)

The PSLV-CA, CA meaning "Core Alone", model premiered on 23 April 2007. The CA model does not include the six strap-on boosters used by the PSLV standard variant. Two small roll control modules and two first-stage motor control injection tanks were still attached to the side of the first stage.[9] The fourth stage of the CA variant has 400 kg less propellant when compared to its standard version.[9] It currently has capability to launch 1,100 kg to 622 km Sun synchronous orbit.[11]

PSLV-XL (Operational)

PSLV-XL is the uprated version of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle in its standard configuration boosted by more powerful, stretched strap-on boosters.[9] Weighing 320 tonnes at lift-off, the vehicle uses larger strap-on motors (PSOM-XL) to achieve higher payload capability. PSOM-XL uses larger 1-metre diameter, 13.5m length motors, and carries 12 tonnes of solid propellants instead of 9 tonnes used in the earlier configuration of PSLV.[12] On 29 December 2005, ISRO successfully tested the improved version of strap-on booster for the PSLV. The first version of PSLV-XL was the launch of Chandrayaan-1 by PSLV C11. The payload capability for this variant is 1800 kg compared to 1600 kg for the other variants.[11] Other launches include the RISAT Radar Imaging Satellite and GSAT-12.[13]

Variant Launches Successes Failures Partial failures Remarks
PSLV (Standard) 12 10 1 1
PSLV-CA (Core Alone) 11 11 0 0
PSLV-XL (Extended)[2] 14 14 0 0
PSLV-3S (Under development / Proposed)

ISRO is also considering the development of a three-stage version of the rocket without six strap-on boosters (with the second stage of the four-stage version removed) which will be capable of placing 500 kg to LEO.[11][14]

Launch history

As of 26 September 2016 the PSLV has made 37 launches, with 35 successfully reaching their planned orbits, one outright failure and one partial failure, yielding a success rate of 95% (or 97% including the partial failure). All launches have occurred from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), known before 2002 as the Sriharikota Range (SHAR).

Flight Variant Launch date/time (UTC) Launch Pad Payload Payload Mass Result
D1 PSLV-G 20 September 1993
First India IRS-1E 846 kg Failure

Maiden flight; attitude control failure at second stage separation.[15]

D2 PSLV-G 15 October 1994
First India IRS-P2 804 kg Success


D3 PSLV-G 21 March 1996
First India IRS-P3 920 kg Success


C1 PSLV-G 29 September 1997
First India IRS-1D 1250 kg Partial failure

First operational flight; fourth stage under-performed resulting in lower than planned orbit. Satellite used own propulsion to move to correct orbit.[18]

C2 PSLV-G 26 May 1999
First India Oceansat-1
Germany DLR-Tubsat
South Korea Kitsat-3
1050 kg
45 kg
107 kg

First launch to have foreign satellites, and first to carry multiple satellites.[19][20]

C3 PSLV-G 22 October 2001
First India TES
Europe PROBA
Germany BIRD
1108 kg
94 kg
92 kg

First multi-orbit mission. TES and BIRD were injected into a nominal 568 km circular sun synchronous polar orbit, PROBA was injected into a 568 X 638 km elliptical orbit. Orbit was raised using RCS thrusters on fourth stage.[21][22]

C4 PSLV-G 12 September 2002
First India MetSat-1 (Kalpana-1) 1060 kg Success

India's first launch to GTO. GTO payload capability has reached 1200 kg from 2002 onward, compared to 1050 kg previously. First use of lightweight carbon composite payload adapter.[23][24][25]

C5 PSLV-G 17 October 2003
First India RESOURCESAT-1 (IRS-P6) 1360 kg Success

Payload capability had been progressively increased by more than 600 kg since the first PSLV launch. Launch took place despite heavy rain.[26][27]

C6 PSLV-G 5 May 2005
Second India Cartosat-1
1560 kg
42.5 kg

First PSLV launch from the second launch pad.[28]

C7 PSLV-G 10 January 2007
First India Cartosat-2
India SRE-1
Indonesia LAPAN-TUBsat
Argentina PEHUENSAT-1
680 kg
500 kg
56 kg
6 kg

First flight of hardware upgrade, first launch of reentry capsule (SRE).[29]

C8 PSLV-CA 23 April 2007
Second Italy AGILE
India AAM
352 kg
185 kg

First flight of the 'Core-Alone' configuration. ISRO's first commercial launch (foreign satellite as the main payload).[30][31]

C10 PSLV-CA 21 January 2008
First Israel TecSAR 295 kg Success

ISRO's second commercial launch (foreign satellite as the main payload).[32][33]

C9 PSLV-CA 28 April 2008
Second India Cartosat-2A
Germany RUBIN-8
Canada CanX-6/NTS
Canada CanX-2
Japan Cute-1.7+APD II
Netherlands Delfi-C3
Japan SEEDS-2
Germany COMPASS-1
690 kg
83 kg
8 kg
6.5 kg
3.5 kg
3 kg
2.2 kg
1 kg
1 kg
0.75 kg


C11 PSLV-XL 22 October 2008
Second India Chandrayaan-1 1380 kg Success

First flight of the PSLV-XL configuration, first Indian Lunar probe.[36][37]

C12 PSLV-CA 20 April 2009
Second India RISAT-2
300 kg
40 kg

India's first radar imaging satellite, RISAT.[38][39]

C14 PSLV-CA 23 September 2009
First India Oceansat-2
GermanyLuxembourg Rubin 9.1
GermanyLuxembourgRubin 9.2
Switzerland SwissCube-1
Germany BeeSat
Germany UWE-2
Turkey ITUpSAT1
960 kg
8 kg
8 kg
1 kg
1 kg
1 kg
1 kg

Rubin 9.1 and 9.2 intentionally remained attached to the fourth stage. SwissCube-1 was the first Swiss satellite, and ITUpSAT1 was the first satellite to be constructed in Turkey.[40][41][42][43][44][45]

C15 PSLV-CA 12 July 2010
First India Cartosat-2B

Algeria ALSAT-2A
Norway AISSat-1
Switzerland TIsat-1

694 kg
117 kg
6.5 kg
1 kg
0.95 kg

AISSat-1 and TIsat are part of NLS-6.[46][47][48][49][50][51][52]

C16 PSLV-G 20 April 2011
First India ResourceSat-2
Singapore X-Sat
IndiaRussia YouthSat
1206 kg
106 kg
92 kg


C17 PSLV-XL 15 July 2011
Second India GSAT-12 1410 kg Success

First use of Vikram flight computer.[54][55]

C18 PSLV-CA 12 October 2011
First IndiaFrance Megha-Tropiques

India Jugnu
Luxembourg VesselSat-1

1000 kg
10.9 kg
3 kg
28.7 kg


C19 PSLV-XL 26 April 2012
First IndiaRISAT-1 1850 kg Success


C21 PSLV-CA 9 September 2012
First France SPOT-6


720 kg
50 kg
15 kg

mRESINS tested avionics for future PSLV launches. ISRO's third commercial launch (foreign satellite as the main payload). ISRO's 100th mission.[59][60]

C20 PSLV-CA 25 February 2013
First IndiaFrance SARAL

Canada Sapphire
Canada NEOSSat
Austria TUGSAT-1
Austria UniBRITE-1
United Kingdom STRaND-1
Denmark AAUSAT3

409 kg
148 kg
74 kg
14 kg
14 kg
6.5 kg
0.8 kg

TUGSAT-1 and UniBRITE were the first Austrian satellites.[61][62][63]

C22 PSLV-XL 1 July 2013
First India IRNSS-1A 1425 kg Success

India's first regional navigation satellite.[64]

C25 PSLV-XL 5 November 2013
First India Mars Orbiter Mission 1350 kg Success

India's first Mars mission.[65][66]

C24 PSLV-XL 4 April 2014
First India IRNSS-1B 1432 kg Success

India's second regional navigation satellite.[67][68]

C23 PSLV-CA 30 June 2014
First France SPOT-7
Canada CanX-4
Canada CanX-5
Germany AISAT
Singapore VELOX-1
714 kg
15 kg
15 kg
14 kg
7 kg

ISRO's fourth commercial launch (foreign satellite as the main payload).[69]

C26 PSLV-XL 16 October 2014
First India IRNSS-1C 1425.4 kg Success

Seventh PSLV-XL and third Navigation Satellite launch.[70][71]

C27 PSLV-XL 28 March 2015
Second India IRNSS-1D 1425 kg Success

Eighth PSLV-XL and fourth Navigation Satellite launch.[72]

C28 PSLV-XL 10 July 2015
First United Kingdom UK-DMC3A
United Kingdom UK-DMC3B
United Kingdom UK-DMC3C
United Kingdom CBNT-1
United Kingdom DeOrbitSail
447 kg
447 kg
447 kg
91 kg
7 kg

At the time it was the heaviest commercial mission (1439 kg) successfully accomplished using a launch vehicle assembled by ISRO.[73][74]

C30 PSLV-XL 28 September 2015
First India Astrosat
Indonesia LAPAN-A2
Canada exactView 9
United States Lemur-2 #1 Joel
United States Lemur-2 #2 Peter
United States Lemur-2 #3 Jeroen
United States Lemur-2 #4 Chris
1650 kg
68 kg
5.5 kg
4 kg
4 kg
4 kg
4 kg

Launch of India's first dedicated multi-wavelength space observatory and ISRO's first launch of US satellites.[75]

C29 PSLV-CA 16 December 2015
First Singapore TeLEOS-1
Singapore VELOX-C1

Singapore VELOX-II
Singapore Kent Ridge-1
Singapore Galassia
Singapore Athenoxat-1[76]

400 kg
123 kg
13 kg
78 kg
3.4 kg

Commercial launch of 6 Singaporean satellites. Fourth stage re-ignition demonstrated successfully after payload deployment.[77][78][79]

C31 PSLV-XL 20 January 2016
Second India IRNSS-1E 1425 kg Success

IRNSS-1E, fifth navigation satellite of the seven satellites constituting the IRNSS space segment launched. It carries two types of payloads – navigation payload and ranging payload. This is the eleventh time ‘XL’ configuration is being flown.[80][81][82]

C32 PSLV-XL 10 March 2016
Second India IRNSS-1F 1425 kg

IRNSS-1F, sixth navigation satellite of the seven satellites constituting the IRNSS space segment launched. It carries two types of payloads – navigation payload and ranging payload. This is the twelfth time ‘XL’ configuration is being flown. IRNSS-1F carries Corner Cube Retro Reflectors for laser ranging.[83] Launch initially scheduled for 10:30 was delayed by one minute to avoid space debris.[84]

C33 PSLV-XL 28 April 2016
First India IRNSS-1G 1425 kg

IRNSS-1G, last navigation satellite of the seven satellites constituting the IRNSS space segment launched. India's own navigational system, the set-up for which was completed will be called NAVIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation)[85][86][87][88][89]

C34 PSLV-XL 22 June 2016
  • 727.5 kg
  • 120 kg
  • 130 kg
  • 110 kg
  • 25.5 kg
  • 85 kg
  • 1 kg
  • 1.5 kg
  • 12 × 4.7 kg

ISRO's Cartosat-2C and 19 other satellites launched.[90][91][92][93][94][95]

C35 PSLV-G 26 September 2016
First India ScatSat-1
Algeria ALSAT-2B
Algeria ALSAT-1B
United States Pathfinder-1
India Pratham IIT Bombay
Canada NLS-19
Algeria ALSAT-1N
India PISat
371 kg
117 kg
103 kg
44 kg
10 kg
8 kg
7 kg
5.25 kg

ISRO's longest PSLV satellite launch mission. First mission of PSLV in which it launched its payloads into two different orbits.[96][97][98][99][100][101]

Planned launches

Flight Variant Launch date/time (UTC) Launch Pad Payload Payload Mass Result
C36 PSLV-XL 7 December 2016
First India ResourceSat-2A
India IITMSAT IIT Madras
Italy Max Valier Sat
Latvia Venta-1
1206 kg
15 kg
15 kg
7.5 kg
14.3 kg


C37 PSLV-XL Q1, 2017
First India EMIsat
India SPaDEx
81 cubesats
Total approx. 1,600 kg Planned


C38 PSLV-CA (?) April 2017
First India Cartosat-2D
Blue Diamond
Green Diamond
Red Diamond


C39 PSLV-CA (?) 2017
First India Cartosat-2E Planned


C40? PSLV-XL (?) 28 Dec 2017
First India TeamIndus Moon Rover Planned

Launch Frequency

  •   PSLV-G
  •   PSLV-CA
  •   PSLV-XL
  •   Planned

Notable flights

PSLV flight D1

Main article: PSLV-D1

This was the first developmental flight of the PSLV-D1.[15] The IRS-1E satellite which was proposed to be launched was derived from the engineering model of IRS-1A incorporating a similar camera and an additional German-built monocular electro-optical stereo scanner. Even though the mission was a failure, the launch team and an expert committee appointed thereafter noted that the mission had validated many technologies and that most sub-systems had performed optimally.[111][112]

PSLV flight D2

Main article: PSLV-D2

This was the second flight of PSLV program which was also its first successful flight. The vehicle carried IRS-P2 satellite which was deployed in the Sun-synchronous Low Earth orbit.

PSLV flight D3

Main article: PSLV-D3

This was the third launch of PSLV program which was also its second successful launch. The vehicle carried IRS-P3 satellite which was deployed in the Sun-synchronous Low Earth orbit.

PSLV flight C1

Main article: PSLV-C1

The launch was witnessed by the former Prime Minister I.K. Gujral and also marked India's first launch vehicle built without Russian assistance.[113][114]

PSLV flight C2

Main article: PSLV-C2

In the flight sequence, IRS-P4 was injected first, followed by KITSAT-3 and DLR-Tubsat in that order.[19] The mission was supported by ISTRAC network of ground stations located at Bangalore, Sriharikota, Lucknow, Mauritius, Bearslake, Russia and Biak, Indonesia. During the initial phase of the mission the ground station at Wilhem in Germany also provided network support. Upon injection of the satellites, data from the IRS-P4 was received at Hyderabad while KITSAT-3 data was received at the ground station in South Korea and the data from the DLR-Tubsat was received at the university ground station in Berlin.[20][115]

PSLV flight C3

Main article: PSLV-C3

PSLV-C3 was the third operational launch and overall sixth mission of the PSLV program. This launch was also the forty-sixth launch by Indian Space Research Organisation since its first mission on 1 January 1962. The vehicle carried three satellites which were deployed in the Sun-synchronous Low Earth orbit.[116][117]

PSLV flight C4

Main article: PSLV-C4

PSLV-C4 was the fourth operational launch and overall seventh mission of the PSLV program. This launch was also the forty-eight launch by Indian Space Research Organisation since its first mission on 1 January 1962. The vehicle carried and injected India's first dedicated Meteorological satellite, Kalpana-1 (originally called METSAT) into the Geosynchronous transfer orbit. PSLV-C4 was launched at 15:53 hours IST on 12 September 2002 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (then called "Sriharikota Launching Range").[118][119]

PSLV flight C5

Main article: PSLV-C5

PSLV-C5 was the fifth operational launch and overall eighth mission of the PSLV program. This launch was also the fifty-second launch by Indian Space Research Organisation since its first mission. The vehicle carried and injected India's remote sensing satellite, Resourcesat-1 (a.k.a IRS-P6) into the Sun-synchronous orbit. PSLV-C5 was launched at 04:52 hours Coordinated Universal Time (10:22 Indian Standard Time) on 17 October 2003 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre.[120]

PSLV flight C6

Main article: PSLV-C6

The former President, Dr. Abdul Kalam, witnessed the launch from the Mission Control Centre.[121] It was the first PSLV launch from second pad, using integrate-transfer-and-launch technology. After its integration in the Vehicle Assembly Building, the PSLV-C6 was transported on rails to the Umbilical Tower (UT) located one km away using the Mobile Launch Pedestal where the final operations were carried out.[121]

PSLV flight C7

The following hardware changes[122][123] were made since PSLV-C6:

PSLV flight C9

The fourth stage first fired Cartosat-2A into orbit at an altitude of 637 km about 885 seconds after lift-off. About 45 seconds later, it propelled IMS-1 into the orbit. Then the six nano satellites belonging to a cluster called NLS-4 were injected into orbit at intervals of 20 seconds each. NLS-5, a single satellite, flew out and finally the tenth satellite Rubin-8 went along with the fourth stage into orbit. Two satellites belonged to India and the remaining were nanosatellites built by universities in different countries.[124] This was the maximum number of satellites placed in orbit, in a single PSLV launch.[125][126][127]

PSLV flight C21

Launch attended by the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.[128] mRESINS (mini Redundant Strapdown Inertial Navigation System) bolted to the vehicle's fourth stage, have tested avionics for future PSLV missions.[129]With this launch Indian Space Research Organisation marked its 100 space missions, with 62 satellites, 37 launch vehicles and 1 Space Capsule Recovery Experiment.

PSLV flight C22

Earlier launch date for PSLV C22 was fixed as 12 June 2013 (1.01AM) but the launch had been postponed because of a technical snag in the 2nd stage.[130]

The launch of the first satellite in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), scheduled for 12 June 2013 from Sriharikota, has been postponed by 14 days after an anomaly was discovered just 11 days before launch. The satellite IRNSS-1A, which would be the first in a series of seven navigation satellites was scheduled to be launched on board the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C22 at 1.01 am on 12 June. The satellite has undergone its pre-launch checks successfully. However, ISRO said the launch vehicle had an anomaly in one electro-hydraulic control actuators. "During the electrical checks of the launch vehicle, an anomaly was observed in one of the electro-hydraulic control actuators in the second stage. It has been decided to replace this actuator," a statement by ISRO said. Officials added that the replacement of the actuator would take two weeks and it would be carried out at the launch pad and vehicle assembly area.

ISRO then replaced a faulty component in the PSLV C22 rocket and rescheduled the flight of the IRNSS-1A satellite on it for 11:41 p.m. on 1 July 2013.[131] PSLV C22, successfully launched IRNSS-1A, the first satellite in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS).

At the completion of the countdown, PSLV C22 lifted off from the First Launch Pad at 23:41 hrs (IST) on 1 July 2013 with the ignition of the first stage and four strap-on motors of the launch vehicle.[64]

PSLV flight C25

Main article: Mars Orbiter Mission

The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), informally called Mangalyaan is a Mars orbiter that was successfully injected into Earth orbit on 5 November 2013 at 2:38 PM IST (9:08 UTC) atop a PSLV-XL launch vehicle from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota (SHAR).

PSLV flight C29

PSLV C29 lifted off from the First Launch Pad (FLP) of SDSC SHAR at 18:00 hrs [IST] on 16 December 2015. It successfully deployed six satellites it carried with gross weight of 624 kg. After fourth stage engines were cut off primary payload TeLEOS-1 was injected in orbit at about 18 min 12 seconds after lift-off. This was followed by the deployment of other five satellites, namely Kent Ridge-1, VELOX-C1, VELOX-II, Galassia and Athenoxat-1 in quick succession in the subsequent three minutes.[132] 67 minutes into flight fourth stage re-ignition capability was demonstrated successfully by firing its engines for duration of nearly five seconds. This capability would enable multiple satellite deployment in varying orbits on same flight.[79]

PSLV flight C34

Main article: PSLV-C34

PSLV-C34 was launched on 22 June 2016 and successfully deployed 20 satellites in Sun-synchronous orbit. A Dual Launch Adapter with new design[133] compared to its previous version[134] was used to integrate all ride-sharing payloads with PS4. After completion of mission a pair of PS4 re-ignition tests were performed to reaffirm multi-orbit deployment capability of PS4.[135] A new Inertial navigation system 'Mk IV A' employing next generation Accelerometer was introduced on this mission.[136][137]

Launch failures


On 20 September 1993 a PSLV D1, the first developmental flight rocket, failed during launch. A significant attitude disturbance occurred during second to third-stage separation, causing the attitude control command to exceed its maximum value. Because of the programming error in the pitch control loop of the digital autopilot software in the guidance and control processor, the required reversal of command polarity did not take place, causing the pitch loop to become unstable, resulted in loss of attitude control and failure to achieve orbit. The attitude control disturbance was traced to failure of one of the retro rockets designed to pull the burnt second stage away from the third stage. The vehicle crashed into the Bay of Bengal 700 seconds after take off.[112]


On 29 September 1997 a PSLV C1 rocket failed during launch. Anomalous interaction between the primary and secondary pressure regulators of the fourth stage caused a reduction in propellant flow and thrust after 250 seconds of burn time. As a result, the fourth stage was shut down by a software override timer after burning 435 seconds, before reaching the target orbit or depleting propellant. The injection velocity was 140 m/s low, resulting in an orbit of 301 x 823 km instead of the planned 817 km circular SSO.[138] Initially, a leak of helium gas from one of the components in the fourth stage was suspected,[113][139] similar to recent Long March 3 launch failure, but later ruled out. Resulting orbit was partially corrected using satellite's on-board thrusters, thereby raising the perigee to 737 km, while the apogee remained at 821 km.[112]

See also


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