What is the full form of ASLV ?

What are Launchers

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) created the four-stage Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV) to launch satellites into Low Earth Orbits (LEO).

Launchers, also known as launch vehicles or rockets, are vehicles designed to carry payloads such as satellites, spacecraft, or other payloads from Earth into space. They provide the initial thrust required to overcome the Earth's gravitational pull and accelerate the payload to the desired velocity and altitude for orbit insertion or interplanetary trajectories.

Launchers typically consist of multiple stages, each with its own engine and fuel supply. The first stage provides the majority of the thrust required to lift off the launcher from the launch pad, and subsequent stages provide additional thrust to continue accelerating the payload to the desired speed and altitude.

Types of Launchers

There are several types of launchers, including −

  • Orbital rockets − These are rockets that are designed to launch payloads into orbit around the Earth, such as the Falcon 9, Delta IV, and Soyuz.

  • Suborbital rockets − These are rockets that are designed to reach space but not achieve orbit, such as sounding rockets used for scientific experiments and missile defense interceptors.

  • Reusable launch vehicles (RLVs) − These are rockets that can be used for multiple launches, such as the Space Shuttle and SpaceX's Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy.

  • Expendable launch vehicles (ELVs) − These are rockets that are designed to be used once and then discarded, such as the Atlas V and Delta IV.

  • Air-launched rockets − These are rockets that are launched from aircraft, such as the Pegasus rocket.

  • Sea-launched rockets − These are rockets that are launched from a platform at sea, such as the Sea Launch platform.

  • Solid-fueled rockets − These are rockets that use solid propellant, such as the PSLV and the Space Shuttle's Solid Rocket Boosters.

  • Liquid-fueled rockets − These are rockets that use liquid propellants, such as the Falcon 9 and the Delta IV.

What is Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle?

The Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV) marked a crucial turning point in India's efforts to conduct space exploration. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) developed it to provide a useful method of launching miniature satellites into low Earth orbit (LEO). The ASLV programme, which was started in the 1980s, had its initial launch in 1987. There were four solid-fueled stages in the vehicle, each with a predetermined burn time. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle were made possible by the ASLV programme, which was essential for showcasing India's capabilities in the field of space technology (GSLV).

Specification of Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV)

Here are some of the specifications of the Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV) −

  • Height − 23.5 meters

  • Diameter − 1 meter

  • Mass at liftoff − 40 tons

  • Number of stages − 4

  • Type of fuel − Solid for the first, second, and fourth stages; Liquid for the third stage

  • Maximum payload capacity − 150-200 kg

  • Launch site − Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, India

  • First launch − March 24, 1987

  • Last launch − May 4, 1994

The ASLV was intended to launch small satellites, mostly into low Earth orbit (LEO). Due to its relatively low payload capacity, more technologically advanced launch vehicles like the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle and the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle succeeded it (GSLV). The ASLV programme, however, played a key role in India's attempts to explore space and served as a showcase for the nation's rocket capability.


In Conclusion, Small satellites can be launched into low Earth orbit using the Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV), a four-stage solid-fueled rocket developed by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) (LEO). The ASLV programme was essential to India's space exploration efforts since it showed off the nation's rocket technical prowess and paved the way for more sophisticated launch vehicles. Despite having a small payload capacity and very expensive launch costs, the ASLV had five successful launches between 1987 and 1994, with an overall success rate of 80%. The programme served as a significant turning point in India's space exploration and is still significant to its space history.


Q1. Was the ASLV program successful?

Ans. The ASLV program had limited success, with varying degrees of success in its four test launches. However, it provided valuable experience in developing launch vehicle technology that was later applied to more successful launch vehicle programs.

Q2. What was the success rate of the ASLV program?

Ans. The ASLV program achieved a success rate of 80% during its five launches between 1987 and 1994.

Q3. Is ASLV still in use?

Ans. No, ASLV is no longer in use. The program was discontinued after its four test launches, and subsequent launches were conducted using more advanced launch vehicles such as PSLV and GSLV.

Updated on: 17-Apr-2023


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