Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle

Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) for UPSC IAS
  • The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) is an indigenously-developed expendable launch system of the ISRO.
  • It comes in the category of medium-lift launchers with a reach up to various orbits, including the Geo Synchronous Transfer Orbit, Lower Earth Orbit, and Polar Sun Synchronous Orbit.
  • PSLV has a four-stage system comprising a combination of solid and liquid-fuelled rocket stages.
    • The first stage at the very bottom is solid fuelled having six strap-on solid rocket boosters wrapped around it.
    • The second stage is liquid-fuelled whereas the third stage has a solid-fuelled rocket motor.
    • In the fourth stage, the launcher uses a liquid propellant to boost outer space.
  • It is the first Indian launch vehicle to be equipped with liquid stages.
  • Its first successful launch took place in October 1994.

Payloads of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle

  • It is capable of placing multiple payloads into orbit. Thus, multi-payload adaptors are used in the payload fairing.
  • During the 1994-2017 period, the vehicle launched 48 Indian satellites and 209 satellites for customers from abroad.
  • Some notable payloads launched by PSLV include
    • India’s first lunar probe Chandrayaan-1,
    • India’s first interplanetary mission – Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan) and
    • India’s first space observatory – Astrosat.
  • It can take up to 1,750 kg of payload to Sun-Synchronous Polar Orbits at 600 km altitude.

Latest news


  1. ISRO
  2. Indian Express

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