Indians should brace themselves for the launch of Indian rocket, Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C49 which will carry Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C49, and nine other foreign sattelites on Saturday.
The 26-hour countdown for the rocket launch started on Friday from the first launch pad.
The satellite can take pictures day and night and will be useful for surveillance as well as civilian activities.
The nine foreign satellites are from: Lithuania (1-technology demonstrator), Luxembourg (4 maritime application satellites by Kleos Space) and the US (4-Lemur multi mission remote sensing satellites).
ISRO will be using the PSLV rocket`s DL variant that will have two strap-on booster motors.
This rocket variant was used the first time to put into orbit Microsat R satellite on January 24, 2019.
The PSLV is a four-stage/engine rocket powered by solid and liquid fuels alternatively with six booster motors strapped on to the first stage to give higher thrust during the initial flight moments.
After PSLV-C49, the next one to fly will be PSLV-C50 with the GSAT-12R satellite. It will fly from the second launch pad, S. Somanath, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), had told IANS earlier.
“We are targeting PSLV-C50 sometime in December. It needs about 30 days to get ready for another launch after one launch,” Somanath had said.
The other Indian satellites that are ready for launch are GISAT, Microsat-2A and GSAT-12R.
The launch of the GISAT-1 satellite slated for March 5 this year was postponed due to technical reasons a day before the launch.
“The GISAT-1 satellite will be carried by a GSLV rocket. The GSLV rocket was dismantled after the launch was called off. The rocket is being refurbished. The rocket`s cryogenic engine has been brought down and it is being readied again,” Somanath had said.
According to him, the GSLV carrying GISAT-1 is expected to fly after PSLV-C50.
Somanath also said that the ISRO has developed a Virtual Launch Control Centre to test the rocket systems at the rocket port in Sriharikota remotely from the Thiruvananthapuram-based VSSC.
“With Covid-19 pandemic prevailing, the Indian space agency in order to reduce the number of people travelling to Sriharikota, has developed a Virtual Launch Control Centre at VSSC. As a result, the testing of various rocket systems is being done at VSSC,” Somanath had told IANS.
The physical launch control centre is located in the building, housing the Mission Control Centre in Sriharikota and the systems there have been replicated at the VSSC in the form of a virtual launch control centre.
(With IANS inputs)