About the Launch Vehicle  Vehicle Specifications

Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) is the third generation launch vehicle of India. It is the first Indian launch vehicle to be equipped with liquid stages. PSLV, the 44 m tall vehicle with a lift off mass of 295 ton, is configured as a four stage vehicle with alternate solid and liquid propulsion stages. Over the years since its first successful launch in October 1994, PSLV established itself as a reliable and versatile workhorse launch vehicle of India with 39 consecutively successful missions till June 2017. During 1994-2017 period, the vehicle has launched 48 Indian satellites and 209 satellites for customers from abroad. PSLV has proven capability to launch satellites to SSO, GTO, Sub-GTO, Low and Mid Inclination Orbits etc. Multiple engine restart to achieve multiple orbits in the same mission depending on the mission requirements, has also been demonstrated successfully for PSLV.

Besides, the vehicle successfully launched two spacecraft – Chandrayaan-1 in 2008 and Mars Orbiter Spacecraft in 2013 – that later travelled to Moon and Mars respectively. PSLV has gained credence as a small satellite launcher due its numerous multi-satellite deployment campaigns with auxiliary payloads usually ride sharing along an Indian primary payload. Another notable feature was launch of PSLV C37 on 15 February 2017 successfully deploying 104 satellites in sun-synchronous orbit.





Height : 44 m
Diameter : 2.8 m
Number of Stages : 4
Lift Off Mass : 320 tonnes (XL)
Variants : 3 (PSLV-G, PSLV - CA, PSLV - XL)
First Flight : September 20, 1993










Payload to SSPO: 1,750 kg

PSLV earned its title 'the Workhorse of ISRO' through consistently delivering various satellites to Low Earth Orbits, particularly the IRS series of satellites. It can take up to 1,750 kg of payload to Sun-Synchronous Polar Orbits of 600 km altitude.

Payload to Sub GTO: 1,425 kg

Due to its unmatched reliability, PSLV has also been used to launch various satellites into Geosynchronous and Geostationary orbits, like satellites from the IRNSS constellation.


Fourth Stage: PS4

The PS4 is the uppermost stage of PSLV, comprising of two Earth storable liquid engines.

Engine : 2 x PS-4
Fuel : MMH + MON
Max. Thrust : 7.6 x 2 kN
Third Stage: PS3

The third stage of PSLV is a solid rocket motor that provides the upper stages high thrust after the atmospheric phase of the launch.

Fuel : HTPB
Max. Thrust : 240 kN
Second Stage: PS2

PSLV uses an Earth storable liquid rocket engine for its second stage, know as the Vikas engine, developed by Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre.

Engine : Vikas
Fuel : UDMH + N2O4
Max. Thrust : 799 kN



First Stage: PS1

PSLV uses the S139 solid rocket motor that is augmented by 6 solid strap-on boosters.

Engine : S139
Fuel : HTPB
Max. Thrust : 4800 kN

Strap-on 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. However, strap-ons are not used in the core alone version (PSLV-CA).

Fuel : HTPB
Max. Thrust : 719 kN