New Delhi: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched record 20 satellites, including Cartosat-2 series, India's latest earth observatory, onboard PSLVC-34 from its Sriharikota's Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday June 22.
Here are some interesting facts about ISRO's workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, commonly known by its abbreviation PSLV:
- The PSLV is an expendable launch system developed and operated by the ISRO.
- PSLV made its first flight on September 20, 1993, but the mission failed early into flight.
- It has been in service for over 20 years and has launched over 40 satellites for 19 countries.
- Some notable payloads launched by PSLV include India's first lunar probe Chandrayaan-1, India's first interplanetary mission Mangalyaan (Mars orbiter) and India's first space observatory, Astrosat.
- In the year 2015 alone, ISRO successfully launched 17 foreign satellites belonging to Canada, Indonesia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.
- PSLV can take up to 1,750 kg of payload to Sun-Synchronous Polar Orbits of 600 km altitude.
- 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.
- In order to cater to different mission requirements, ISRO has envisaged a number of variants of PSLV. Currently, there are three operational versions of the PSLV - the standard (PSLV-G), the core-alone (PSLV-CA) without the six strap-on booster motors, and the (PSLV-XL) version, which carries more solid fuel in its strap-on motors than the standard version.