Jan 21, 2008
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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
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.