PSLV-C45 project will mark several firsts for ISRO

The News

  • ISRO will launch the PSLV-C45 mission on April 1 which will be significant in many ways.


About PSLV-C45 mission

  • PSLV-C45 mission will primarily launch the 435 kg EMISAT, electronic intelligence satellite.
  • It will also launch 28 foreign satellites for USA, Lithuania, Spain and Switzerland.
  • The 4th stage of the rocket PS-4 will act as the orbital platform for the following experimental satellites:
  • ARIS satellite of Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology to study the structure and composition of ionosphere.
  • Automatic Identification System (AIS) for Maritime satellite applications
  • Amateur radio applications satellite


Significance of PSLV-C45

  • It is the 1st mission that is using the QL variant of PSLV rocket launcher.
  • This will be the 1st time ISRO will be launching satellites in 3 different orbits.
  1. EMISAT – 749 km
  2. 28 foreign satellites – 504 km
  • Experimental satellites – 485 km
  • This is the 2nd time ISRO is using the spent PS-4 stage (4th stage of the rocket) as an orbital platform. (PSLV-C44 was the 1st)


In brief: Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)

  • PSLV is a 4-stage that uses alternate combination of liquid and solid fueled rocket stages.
  • While the 1st and 3rd stages are solid-fueled, the 2nd and the 4th stages are propelled by liquid fuel.
  • PSLV can deliver payloads of up to:
  • 3,250kg to Low Earth Orbit
  • 1600 kg to Sun Synchronous orbit
  • 1400 kg to Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit
  • PSLV is ISRO’s workhorse launch vehicle with 237 foreign satellites from 28 countries successfully launched between 1999 and 2018.


PSLV variants

  • Currently PSLV rockets have 4 variants:
    • PSLV-CA (core alone)
    • PSLV-XL – 6 strap-on motors
    • PSLV-DL – 2 strap-on motors (PSLV-C44 was the 1st mission to use it)
    • PSLV-QL- 4 strap-on motors

Strap-on motors

  • Strap-on motors are used in the 1st stage of PSLV (solid stage) in order to provide additional thrust to the rocket.
  • Additional thrust is needed in the 1st stage as the rocket has to overcome the air resistance in the atmosphere in order to be launched in the orbit.

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