India begins countdown for launch of 31 satellites

India begins countdown for launch of 31 satellites”

A 44.4-metre tall rocket, ISRO's trusted old workhorse "PSLV-C40", will lift off for its 42nd mission from a launch pad of the organisation's Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, 110km from southern city of Chennai at 9:28am on Friday.

As the Mission Readiness Review committee and Launch Authorisation Board cleared the countdown, the space body today said, "The 28-hour countdown activity of PSLV-C40/Cartosat2 Series Satellite Mission has started at 05.29 hours IST today".

The Cartosat is essentially a remote sensing satellite, equipped with panchromatic and multi-spectral cameras and has a shelf life of five years. The 28 global satellites scheduled to be launched tomorrow are part of commercial arrangements between Antrix Corporation Limited, a Government of India company under the Department of Space, the commercial arm of ISRO and the foreign customers.

The total weight of all 31 satellites is 1,323 kg.

ISRO's PSLV successfully launched multiple satellites into orbit from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh on June 23, 2017. This remote sensing satellite is similar in configuration to earlier satellites in the series and is meant to augment data services to the users.

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Out of these 31 satellites, three are of Indian origin and 28 are from six countries like Canada, Finland, France, South Korea, UK and the US.

An update on ISRO's website on Thursday morning that the "The propellant filling operation of the fourth stage of PSLV-C40 is under progress". Scientists would bring down the height by twice restarting the fourth stage of the PSLV-C40 for the launch of Microsat satellite, which will be placed in a 359 km polar SSO, ISRO said.

"The microsatellite will be India's 100th satellite in space", Satellite Centre director M Annadurai told IANS.

ISRO will also be launching its second lunar mission (Chandrayaan-2) to the Moon, with an orbiter, lander and rover for the first time.

Cartosat-2 Series Satellite will be the primary satellite carried by PSLV-C40. It is similar to the earlier Cartosat-2, 2A and 2B. Tomorrow's launch also marks the first launch for ISRO in 2018 following the unsuccessful mission of navigation satellite IRNSS-1H a year ago. It is also the first after the unsuccessful mission of IRNSS-1H in August past year.

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