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SLV / Space Launch Vehicle
ASLV / Advanced Space Launch Vehicle
PSLV / Polar Space Launch Vehicle
GSLV / Geosynchronous Space Launch Vehicle.
Model Serial
Launch Date
  Results Payloads
SLV-3 SLV-3 D1
10 Aug 79
  Failure (#1) Rhohini 1A
SLV-3 SLV-3 D2
18 Jul 80
  Success Rohini 1
SLV-3 SLV-3 D3
31 May 81
  Failure (#2) Rohini 2
SLV-3  SLV-3 D4
17 Apr 83
  Success Rohini 3
24 Mar 87
  Failure (#3) SRS / SROSS 1
12 Jul 88
  Failure (#4) SRS / SROSS 2
20 May 92
  Failure (#5) SRS / SROSS 3
20 Sep 93
  Failure (#6) IRS 1E
4 May 94
  Success SROSS C2
15 Oct 94
  Success IRS-P2
21 Mar 96
  Success IRS-P3
29 Sep 97
  Partial failure IRS 1D
26 Mai 99
Success OceanSat 1 + KITSAT + DLR-TUBSAT
14) GSLV GSLV-D1 18 Apr 01 Failure (#7) GSAT-1
15) PSLV PSLV-C3 22 Oct 01 Success TES, PROBA, BIRD 2
16) PSLV PSLV-C4 12 Sep 02 Success METSAT
17) GSLV GSLV-D2 8 May 03 Success GSAT-2
18) PSLV PSLV-C5 17 Oct 03 Success IRS-P6
19) GSLV GSLV-F01 20 Sep 04 Success EDUSAT / GSAT-3
20) PSLV PSLV-C6 5 May 05 Success Cartosat, HAMSAT / VUSAT
21) GSLV GSLV-F02 10 Jul 06 Failure (#8) Insat 4C
23) PSLV PSLV-C8 23 Apr 07 Success AGILE, AVM
24) GSLV GSLV-F04 2 Sep 07 Success Insat 4CR
25) PSLV PSLV-C10  21 Jan 08 Success Polaris / TECSAR 1
26) PSLV PSLV-C9 28 Apr 08 Success CARTOSAT-2A
CUTE 1.7
27) PSLV PSLV-C11 22 Oct 08 Success Chandraayan-1
MIP / Moon Impactor Probe
28) PSLV PSLV-C12 20 Apr 09 Success RISAT-2,
29) PSLV PSLV-C14 23 Sep 09 Success Oceansat-2,
ITU-p-SAT 1,
30) GSLV Mk II 15 Apr 10 Failure (#9) GSAT-4
31) PSLV-CA 12 Jul 10 Success Cartosat 2B,
Alsat 2A,
AISSAT-1 / NLS-6.1,
TISat-1 / NLS-6.2,
32) GSLV Mk II 25 Dec 10 Failure (#10) GSAT-5P
33) PSLV-C16 20 Apr 11 Success Resourcesat-2,
IMS-1A Youthsat,
34) PSLV-C17 15 Jul 11 Success GSAT 12 / GrainSat 12
35) PSLV-C18 12 Oct 11 Success Megha-Tropiques,
VesselSat 1,
36) PSLV-XL 26 Apr 12 Success RISAT-1
37) PSLV-CA 9 Sep 12 Success SPOT 6,
38) PSLV-CA 25 Feb 13 Success SARAL,
39) PSLV-XL 1 Jul 13 Success IRNSS-1A
40) PSLV-XL 5 Nov 13 Success MOS / Mars Orbiter Spacecraf
410 GSLV Mk.2 (D5) 5 Jan 14 Success GSAT-14
42) PSLV-XL. 4 Apr 14 Success IRNSS 1B
43) PSLV-CA 30 Jun 14 Success SPOT 7,
AISat 1,

Satellite Launch Vehicle Development in India

Source: ISRO, Press Release  5 Julu 2006

In India, rocket development began in 1963 with the establishment of Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station near Thiruvananthapuram for carrying out scientific experiments in aeronomy and astronomy using rockets built abroad. 

India's first indigenous sounding rocket was a small 75 mm diameter Rohini, RH-75. Today, India operates a family of sounding rockets of diameters ranging from 200 to 560 mm and capable of carrying upto 200 kg payload to an altitude of 300-400 km to conduct scientific experiments. 45 sounding rockets were flown on consecutive days during February-March 2000 for a major scientific campaign, Equatorial Wave Campaign. 

SLV-3, India's first experimental satellite launch vehicle, was successfully launched for the first time on July 18, 1980 from SHAR Centre (which was renamed as Satish Dhavan Space Centre SHAR in 2002), Sriharikota and it placed a Rohini Satellite, RS-1 in orbit. The first experimental flight of SLV-3 had taken place in July 1979 but the mission was only partially successful due to a jammed valve in the second stage control system resulting in the leak of the oxidiser. After the successful second flight, two more flights of SLV-3 were conducted in May 1981 and April 1983 to place Rohini satellites carrying remote sensing cameras on board. 

Conceived in 1969, SLV-3 was a 22 metre long, four-stage vehicle weighing 17 tonne. All its stages used solid propellant and it employed open loop guidance with stored pitch programme to steer the vehicle in flight along the pre-determined trajectory. SLV-3 provided valuable inputs for the vehicle and mission design, materials, hardware fabrication, realisation of solid propellant technology, control power plants, staging systems, inertial sensors, electronics, testing, integration and checkout and launch complex establishment at Sriharikota with associated ground instrumentation. 

ASLV: Keeping in view the long term goal for realising polar and geosynchronous launch capability for operational class of satellites, the development of Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV) was undertaken for demonstrating critical technologies. ASLV was configured as a five stage solid propellant vehicle, weighing about 40 tonne and having a length of about 23.8 m. The strap-on stage consisted of two identical 1 m diameter solid propellant motors similar to SLV-3 first stage, other stages being the same as in SLV-3. Closed loop guidance, active from the ignition of the second stage motor to the separation of the third stage, was employed in ASLV while SLV-3 had used an open loop guidance system. 

The first developmental flight test of ASLV took place in March 1987 but the mission did not succeed due to non-ignition of the first stage motor after the strap-on stage burn out. The second flight, ASLV-D2, took place in July, 1988. This mission also did not succeed. After a detailed failure analysis, a number of corrective actions were taken, many of them relating to the transition between the strap-on stage and the first stage. With the incorporation of all the modifications, the third developmental flight, ASLV-D3, was successfully conducted on May 20, 1992 when SROSS-C satellite, carrying a Gamma- ray burst detector and an aeronomy payload was placed in orbit. Another flight of ASLV (ASLV-D4) was conducted on May 4, 1994 when a 113 kg SROSS-C2 satellite was put into a low earth orbit. ASLV provided valuable inputs to the development of PSLV. 
PSLV: The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) project was initiated in 1982. In the present configuration (employed in PSLV-C5), the 44.4 metre tall, 295 tonne PSLV, has four stages using solid and liquid propulsion systems alternately. While the first developmental launch of PSLV (PSLV-D1), on September 20, 1993 did not fulfill the mission of injecting the IRS-1E satellite into orbit, most of the PSLV systems performed normally. The failure of this flight was primarily due to a software error in the pitch control loop of the on-board guidance and control processor, and the failure of two small retro rockets leading to a contact between second and third stages during the separation of the second stage. The second developmental flight, PSLV-D2, on October 15, 1994, was successful when the vehicle injected the 804 kg remote sensing satellite, IRS-P2, into the desired orbit. During the third developmental test flight conducted on March 21, 1996, PSLV could place a 922 kg IRS-P3 satellite in the intended 817 km polar orbit. With these two consecutive successes, PSLV became operational. 

Several more improvements have been incorporated in the vehicle since then. The major improvements include: increasing the solid propellant in the first core stage from 128 tonne to 138 tonne; increasing the liquid propellant loading in the second stage from 37.5 tonne to 40.6 tonne by stretching the stage tankages; replacing the metallic payload adopter by a CFRP adopter and; effecting weight reduction in the vehicle equipment bay. Besides, four of the six strap-on motors are ignited on the ground along with the core first stage; in the earlier flights only two were ignited on the ground and the remaining four a few seconds after lift-off. 
n its first operational flight, PSLV successfully placed the 1200 kg Indian Remote Sensing satellite, IRS-1D, into a polar orbit. Later it launched OCEANSAT-1 (IRS-P4), TES, RESOURCESAT-1, CARTOSAT-1 and HAMSAT into the predetermined polar orbits in 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2005 respectively. PSLV has now become a workhorse launch vehicle for polar satellites and it is now offered for carrying satellites of other space agencies also. So far it had seven successful flights. PSLV has also been used for launching a geo-synchronous satellite - India's first exclusive meteorological satellite, KALPANA-1, in September 2002. It has also launched four satellites of other space agencies - KITSAT-3 of Korea, DLR-TUBSAT and BIRD of Germany and PROBA of Belgium. Three more satellites LAPAN TUBSAT of Indonesia, X-Sat of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and Agile of Italy are already in the pipeline. Of these, LAPAN TUBSAT will be flown along with India's CARTOSAT-2 and Space Capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE-1) on board PSLV-C7 this year. 

GSLV, in its very first developmental test flight on April 18, 2001, succeeded in placing an experimental communication satellite, GSAT-1, into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit(GTO). It was declared operational after its second successful developmental test flight on May 8, 2003, when it placed GSAT-2 into its intended GTO. During its first operational flight (GSLV-F01) on September 20, 2004, GSLV launched the 1950 kg EDUSAT, India's first exclusive satellite for the educational sector. 

While in the present configuration (GSLV Mk I), GSLV is capable of placing 2,000 kg class satellites into GTO, once its Russian supplied upper stage is replaced by the ISRO developed Cryogenic stage (GSLV-Mk II), it will be able to place 2,500 kg class satellites into GTO. GSLV Mk III will be capable of placing a 4 tonne satellite into GTO. It will have a 110 tonne core liquid propellant stage, two 200 tonne solid propellant strap-on motors and a 25 tonne cryogenic stage. 

© Claude Lafleur, 2004-2014 Mes sites web: claudelafleur.qc.ca