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Establishing Flight Heritage

To Walk The Walk

PACSCISAT is a technology demonstrator built by Terran Orbital for Pacific Scientific Energetic Materials Company (PacSci EMC) to provide spaceflight heritage to several of PacSci EMC’s satellite products.

The mission was undertaken to give the company’s customers additional assurance and confidence that an electronic controller and propulsion system perform as specified in the harsh space environment where reliability, precision, and control are paramount. PacSci EMC self-funded PACSCISAT to establish flight heritage, or flight-proven history, for these products.

PacSci conducted payload tests using the SEA controllers to fire the initiators and MAPS rocket motors. MAPS is a solid, clean-burning propellant array of rocket motors, which were fired in pairs to maneuver the satellite. SEA Technology is capable of precisely actuating hundreds of pyrotechnic devices on launch vehicles and satellites while taking up very little volume, mass, or power. It can actuate launch vehicle rocket motors, stage separation systems, release devices, and deploy satellites into space. On satellites and space vehicles, SEA Technology can deploy solar arrays, scientific instruments, and many other devices, and can use either pyrotechnic or non-explosive, motorized actuators in any combination needed. SEA is also at the heart of MAPS.

The PacSciSat mission successfully completed all mission objectives and was decommissioned at the end of 2017.




Technology Demonstrator


Pacific Scientific Energetic Materials Company


3U Satellite

Launch Date

June 23, 2017

Launch Vehicle


Mission Length


Mission Completion



ISRO has envisaged several variants of PSLV to cater to different mission requirements. There are currently two operational versions of the PSLV — the core-alone (PSLV-CA) without strap-on motors, and the (PSLV-XL) version, with six extended-length (XL) strap-on motors carrying 12 tons of HTPB-based propellant each. These configurations provide wide variations in payload capabilities up to 3,800 kg (8,400 lb) in LEO and 1,800 kg (4,000 lb) in sun-synchronous orbit.

PSLV-XL version of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle in its standard configuration boosted by more powerful, stretched strap-on boosters with 12 tons propellant load. Weighing 320 t (310 long tons; 350 short tons) at lift-off, the vehicle uses larger strap-on motors (PSOM-XL or S12) to achieve higher payload capability. On 29 December 2005, ISRO successfully tested the improved version of the strap-on booster for the PSLV. The first use of PSLV-XL was the launch of Chandrayaan-1 by PSLV-C11. The payload capability for this variant is 1,800 kg (4,000 lb) to Sun-synchronous orbit.

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