ISRO begins countdown for the longest PSLV multi-orbital launch mission

A fully integrated PSLV C-34 outside the vehicle assembly building and ahead of its launch on June 22, 2016. The vehicle flew in the XL configuration.

India has excelled in Space exploration through ISRO, and the PSLV program has been noted as a reflective contributor to the aspirations of India to know more about the space. Space journeying has not only enabled a lucid intuition of the various celestial bodies but also provided flexible opportunities to predict weather and introduce efficient communication facilities. And in few hours, a new milestone to fortify the previous achievements of ISRO as the countdown for the launch of the longest mission of PSVL missile started today.

On Saturday, sharp at 8.42 a.m., the tee off for the launch of an Indian rocket under PSVL project kicked off at rocket port Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. This project also includes one weather rocket and seven other satellites. According to Indian space agency, the official launch is scheduled to hold on the launch pad at Sriharikota on September 26 at 9.12 a.m.

This program is the longest PSLV satellite launch mission of ISRO which is slated to carry out for two hours and fifteen minutes or more. Weighting 320 ton, this PSLV rocket will take eight satellites of which three belong to India and rest five are from foreign. Sharp at 9.12 a.m., the satellite will blast off from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

The five satellites from foreign are: three from Algeria (Alsat-1B 103kg, Alsat-2B 117kg, Alsat-1N 7kg), one from Canada (NLS-19, 8kg) and the last one is from the US (Pathfinder-44kg). The three Indian satellites are Pratham (10kg) which is developed by Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay and Pisat (5.25 kg) which is designed by PES University, Bengaluru and its consortium.

The rocket’s primary payload will be the 371 kg SCATSAT-1 for the ocean and climate-related studies which will be set into a 730 km polar Sun-synchronous circle around 17 minutes into the flight. As indicated by ISRO, SCATSAT-1 is a progression mission for Oceansat-2 scatterometer to give wind vector information to climate gauging, cyclone identification and tracking provisions.

ISRO said PSLV-C35 will be launched from the First Launch Pad (FLP) of Satish Dhawan Space Centre and it will be the 15th flight of PSLV in ‘XL’ configuration (with the use of solid strap-on motors).

This will second satellite launch by ISRO in the month of September. On September 8, ISRO had successfully launched INSAT-3DR weather observatory satellite using GSLV-F05 rocket. The successful launch of over two-tonne satellite has put India in the elite league of nations able to lift up such heavy satellites in the geostationary orbit. Only five other nations — US, Russia, France, Japan and China, have the cryogenic engine technology to lift such heavy satellites.

Apparently, the successful launch of India’s weather observatory has increased the reputation of Indian space agency ISRO in the international satellite launch market worth $300 billion. After the success of missions like Mangalyaan that won the Space Pioneer award 2015 and got featured in Times Magazine, and Chandrayaan, foreign agencies have started seeking help of ISRO for their satellite launches. ISRO has launched 51 foreign satellites till date.

Moreover, two more GSLV-MkII missions will be completed this year. In addition, ISRO is developing C-25 engine which will twice powerful than the current version having the capability to lift satellite weighing over 4,000kg.

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