Jan 21, 2008


PSLV-C10, the twelfth launch and second commercial launch of India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), was launched successfully on January 21, 2008. PSLV-C10 mission carried a 295 kg commercial payload, TECSAR, into an elliptical orbit with a perigee of 450 km and an apogee of 580 km, inclined at an angle of 41 deg to the equator. This was the first flight of PSLV to launch a satellite into an elliptical orbit with medium inclination. Incidentally, this was the twenty fifth satellite launch mission from SDSC, SHAR. It may be recalled that the first major commercial launch of PSLV (PSLV-C8) took place on April 23, 2007, when it successfully launched an Italian astronomical satellite, AGILE.

For this Mission, PSLV-CA (Core Alone) configuration had been chosen considering the orbit required for the payload and capability of the vehicle. In this configuration, PSLV did not have six strap-on motors that surround the first stage in its standard configuration. The core-alone PSLV-C10 had a lift-off weight of about 230 tonne.

In its standard configuration, the 44 m tall PSLV has a lift-off mass of 295 tonne. It is a four-stage launch vehicle with the first and the third stages as well as the six strap-ons surrounding the first stage using HTPB based solid propellant. PSLV's first stage is one of the largest solid propellant boosters in the world. Its second and fourth stages use liquid propellants. PSLV's bulbous payload fairing has a diameter of 3.2 metre. The vehicle employs S-band telemetry and C-band transponders for enabling vehicle performance monitoring, tracking, range safety/flight safety and Preliminary Orbit Determination (POD). It also has sophisticated auxiliary systems like stage and payload fairing separation systems

PSLV has emerged as the workhorse launch vehicle of ISRO with eleven consecutively successful flights so far. Since its first successful launch in 1994, PSLV has launched eight Indian Remote Sensing Satellites, an amateur radio satellite, HAMSAT, the Space capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE-1) and six small satellites for foreign customers into 550-800 km high polar Sun Synchronous Orbits (SSO) as well as India's exclusive meteorological satellite, Kalpana-1, into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). Besides, it has launched the 350 kg Italian astronomical satellite, AGILE, into a 550 km circular orbit inclined at an angle of 2.5 deg to the equator.