Saturday, September 8, 2012

Countdown begins for Isro’s 100th mission

The final 51-hour countdown for the launch of Isro's hundredth mission on Sunday was initiated at 6.51 am on Friday at Sriharikota. The rocket is the core-alone version of the highly-proven four-stage Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). In layman's term, 'core-alone' means there will be no strap-on motors. It will be the 22nd PSLV flight and the eighth one of the core-alone configuration. 

The much-awaited lift off slated for 9.51 am will be witnessed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. It is the hundredth flight after the launch of India's first indigenous satellite, Aryabhata, in Russia on April 19, 1975. 

An Isro official told ToI from Chennai that as of now all systems were a 'go' for the launch and the weather at Sriharikota was favorable. "The countdown is progressing very smoothly," he said. 

This historic mission will place in orbit a French advanced remote sensing satellite, Spot-6, an observation satellite with a lift off mass of 712 kg, and a Japanese micro satellite, Proiteres weighing 15 kg. 

The 51-hour countdown includes propellant filling of the second and fourth stage of the rocket. There will be checks of the rocket and the spacecraft. Also there will be charging of batteries and pressurization of propellant tanks on board the satellites. 

Apart from the fact that Isro will hit 100 missions with this flight, Spot-6 will be the heaviest satellite to be launched for an international customer. So far Isro has launched 27 foreign satellites starting from May 26, 1999. 

The mission sequence envisages Spot-6 being placed into orbit 1078.8 seconds after lift off followed by Proiteres 1128.8 seconds later. 

Source: Times of India

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