Countdown progresses for PSLV-C43 launch Thursday

Sriharikota:  The countdown for the launch of ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle – PSLV-C43 – began today at 5.58 am.

It is said the processes during the countdown phase, including the fuelling of the two liquid fuel stages of the rocket and systems check, are going on smoothly at the space port at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

PSLV-C43 is set to lift off from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, carrying India’s latest earth observation satellite HysIS, at 9.58 am tomorrow.

The highly versatile rocket will be carrying 30 other co-passenger satellites from eight nations. The countries comprise United States of America (23 satellites), Australia, Canada, Columbia, Finland, Malaysia, Netherlands and Spain (one satellite each).

These satellites have been commercially contracted for launch through Antrix Corporation Limited, the commercial arm of ISRO, the space agency said.

PSLV is ISRO’s third generation launch vehicle. It can carry up to 1,750 kg of payload into polar SSO of 600 km altitude.

Additionally, PSLV has been used to launch planetary missions and also satellites into geosynchronous transfer orbit, ISRO said.

The hyper-spectral imaging satellite HysIS will be the principal payload for PSLV-C43. This will be the 68th launch mission for ISRO from Sriharikota and the sixth this year.

The PSLV will put the satellite HysIS first at an altitude of about 637 kilometre. Then it will be switched off and on twice to take the other 30 small satellites to an entirely different orbit of about 505 kilometre height and inject them one after another in quick succession.

The novel technology has already been mastered by ISRO through several test missions in the recent past.

This is the second launch for ISRO this month.

NT Bureau