Isro realises fiftieth high performance motor case for its workhorse PSLV rocket

The PSLV-C38 mission will use the fiftieth case to roll out of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Center (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram

Isro's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) is one of the most reliable rockets in the world, with a 28 consecutive successful missions. In its career spanning over 2 decades, the PSLV has launched 226 satellites. 104 satellites were deployed into orbit from a single PSLV launch in the world record setting PSLV-C37 mission.

The PSLV was used for some of India's most historic missions, including the Mangalyaan mission to Mars and the Chandrayaan mission to the Moon. Over the course of its illustrious career, the PSLV has earned the title of being the "workhorse" rocket of Isro.

Isro realises fiftieth high performance motor case for its workhorse PSLV rocket

The filament winding process on the motor case. Image: Isro.

The PSLV has four stages which alternate between solid and liquid based propulsion systems. The third stage of the PSLV uses a solid motor, which was initially built with an Armid/Epoxy filament winding process. On burst testing the motors, it was found that there was non-uniform stress distribution across the structure, and the winding process was not being used optimally. The design was modified for into a High Performance motor case (HPS3).

The PSLV-C37 mission in mid-flight. Image: isro.

The PSLV-C37 mission in mid-flight. Image: isro.

The polar winding process was changed to a helical winding process. The new motor cases can handle more pressure, and take on more weight. The payload capacity of the PSLV has been augmented as a result, a necessary step considering the future requirements of the PSLV.

The next PSLV launch, the PSLV-C38 mission will use the fiftieth case to roll out of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Center (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram.

Isro has a busy and exciting year ahead, and the PSLV-C38 launch is expected to happen some time in Summer 2017.

Find our entire collection of stories, in-depth analysis, live updates, videos & more on Chandrayaan 2 Moon Mission on our dedicated #Chandrayaan2TheMoon domain.

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