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Rediff.com  » News » ISRO begins countdown for PSLV's 17th flight

ISRO begins countdown for PSLV's 17th flight

July 09, 2010 11:50 IST

The 51-hour countdown for the 17th flight launch of Indian space agency's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C 15 from Sriharikota spaceport is expected to begin on Saturday morning.

           
Preparations were in full swing for the launch of the PSLV-C-15 on July 12. All the parameters for the launch were doing well and the 51-hour countdown was expected to start at
6 am on Saturday, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISR0) officials said.

           
"The rocket will put into orbit five satellites –remote sensing satellite Cartosat-2B from India, Alsat from Algeria, two nano satellites from Canada and Switzerland, and a pico (very small) satellite called Studsat built by seven engineering students in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka", ISRO spokesmen S Satish told PTI.

           
The PSLV launch was to take place on May 9 last but was postponed because of a drop in the pressure in the vehicle's second stage. This would be the first mission by ISRO after the failure of
India's ambitious home-made cryogenic engine powered GSLV-D3 in April last.

           
He said, "In this flight, PSLV will place the 694 kg Cartosat-2B and four auxiliary payloads in a 630 km Polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO)".

           
The four-stage vehicle had been fully assembled in its launch pad and the mating with Cartosat-2B and other satellites had been completed. He said the satellite would help in urban planning and infrastructure development such as laying ring-roads and rerouting of highways.

           
"Cartosat-2B carries a panchromatic camera similar to that of its predecessors - Cartosat-2 and 2A", he said adding it was capable of imaging a swath (geographical strip of land) of 9.6 km with a resolution of 0.8 metre. The satellite also carries a solid state recorder with a capacity of 64 giga bites to store the images taken by its camera, which can be accessed by the ground stations.

           
The multiple spot scene imagery sent by Cartosat-2B camera would also be useful for village/cadastral level resource assessment and mapping, detailed urban and infrastructure planning and development, transportation system planning, preparation of large-scale cartographic maps, preparation of micro watershed development plans and monitoring of development works of village.

           
Besides, Cartosat-2B's imagery can be used for the preparation of detailed forest type maps, tree volume estimation, village level crop inventory, town/village settlement mapping and planning for comprehensive development, canal alignment, rural connectivity assessment, planning new rural roads and monitoring their construction, coastal landform/land use and coral/mangrove mapping and monitoring of mining activities.

           
Alsat from
Algeria, weighing 116 kg, is also a remote-sensing satellite. The two nano satellites, NLS 6.1 and NLS 6.2, weigh six kg and one kg each. Studsat weighs less than one kg.

           
ISRO sources said the mission was delayed by two months because of a contaminant in the vehicle's second stage that uses liquid propellants. The problem turned out to be bigger than expected. Therefore, the second stage was taken back to the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) at Mahendragiri, near Nagercoil in Tamil Nadu, and cleaned. Then it was transported to Sriharikota again and integrated with the first stage.

           
Though the first developmental flight failed on
September 20, 1993, all the subsequent 15 launches of PSLV, the workhorse of ISRO, have been successful.

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