PSLV to Blast off Today with 7 Satellites
Indian Space Research Organisation chairman K Radhakrishnan on Sunday offered prayers at Lord Venkateswara temple in Tirupati for the successful launch of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle ( PSLV – C 20 ) scheduled to lift off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 5.56pm on Monday.
If things go as he’d like, the 23rd mission of PSLV will blast off safely and put seven satellites in space. These include an Indo – French satellite, SARAL, and NEOSSAT from Canada which will detect and track either near – earth asteroids or satellites in the geostationary orbit. Scientists are stepping up efforts to detect such asteroids. The 229.7-tonne, 44.4 – metre tall, four – stage rocket will carry a primary pay load of Indo – French satellite SARAL along with six commercial payloads from Austria, Britain, Canada and Denmark. The 59-hour countdown for the launch began on Saturday.
Officials of the Indian Space Research Organisation ( ISRO ) said that with fine weather, the vehicle would lift off on schedule. The mission will put the satellites in an orbit of 781km and will have a life of five years.
With a lift – off mass of 407kg, SARAL is the 56th satellite to be launched by PSLV. The six commercial payloads from abroad have a combined lift – off mass of 259.5kg.
The SARAL mission is a result of the common interest of ISRO and CNES, France, to study the ocean from space using altimetry system and Argos data collecting system. It will be useful for operational as well as research communities in fields like marine meteorology and sea state forecasting, operational oceanography, seasonal forecasting, climate monitoring, ocean, earth system and climate research, continental ice studies, protection of biodiversity, management and protection of marine eco system, environmental monitoring, improvement of maritime security, animal migration, locating buoys and fishing vessels, tracking animals, birds and seals.
ISRO has launched four student satellites and 29 satellites for foreign countries. If successful, PSLV – C20 will be India’s 39th satellite launch vehicle to lift off from Sriharikota. India has so far put in orbit 62 Indian satellites.
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