The main speciality of this vehicle is versatility. It's the same rocket by which ISRO launches its Chandrayaan (Lunar explore mission) & Mars Orbiter Mission(MOM) & also broke the world record of deploying the maximum satellite in orbit in one launch. It broke the earlier record of launching 37 satellites of Russia by successfully carried and deployed a record 104 satellites in Sun-Synchronous Orbits (SSO). It can carry up to 3,800 kg in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), 1,750 kg in Sun-Synchronous Orbits (SSO), 1,425 kg in Sub-Geostationary Transfer Orbit (Sub-GTO) and 1,200 kg in Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO).
The vehicle has four stages using solid and liquid propulsion systems alternately. For this complex but efficient design, the rocket achieves such unique versatility. And that's why ISRO can launch satellite much cheaper in comparison to others.
|Assembling the Second stage with the first stage & solid rocket motors|
PSLV uses 6 solid rocket strap-on motors to augment the thrust provided by the first stage in its PSLV-G and PSLV-XL variants. It carries Hydroxyl-Terminated Polybutadiene-Bound (HTPB) as the propellant and generates 719 kilonewtons of thrust.
Stage one of the rocket is Solid rocket motor, carries 138 tonnes of HTPB propellant and develops a maximum thrust of about 4,800 kilonewtons. The first stage flight is provided by the Secondary Injection Thrust Vector Control System (SITVC).
|Second stage with Vikash-Engine|
The second stage employs the earth storable liquid rocket engine (Vikas engine) and carries 41.5 tonnes of liquid propellant which generates a maximum thrust of 800 kilonewtons.
After the atmospheric phase of the launch, the third stage of PSLV is a solid rocket motor that provides the upper stages with the high thrust. It also uses HTPB and generates 240 kilonewtons of thrust.
The fourth stage is the uppermost stage of PSLV, comprising of two Earth storable PS4 liquid engines. Each engine generating 7.6 kilonewtons of thrust and carrying 2,500 kg of Mono Methyl Hydrazine + Mixed Oxides of Nitrogen (MMH + MON) propellant in the PSLV and PSLV-XL and 2,100 kg in the PSLV-CA.
Due to its unmatched reliability, PSLV has also been used to launch various satellites into Geosynchronous and Geostationary orbits. It can take up to 1,750 kg of payload to Sun-Synchronous Polar Orbits (SSPO) of 600 km altitude.
And that's how it can outperform any space vehicle by its versatility and low launching cost. It's truly "the Workhorse of ISRO".