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PSLV launch with two satellites on May 5

Special Correspondent

Four-stage vehicle will put 1,560-kg CARTOSAT and HAMSAT in space


  • PSLV has been built by Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre
  • First launch from brand new second launch pad at Sriharikota
  • Countdown begins on May 3

    CHENNAI: The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) carrying two satellites will lift off from the spaceport at Sriharikota on May 5 and the launch campaign for the mission is in full swing, according to K. Narayana, Director, Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

    The four-stage vehicle is already mated with two satellites — CARTOSAT and HAMSAT.

    What is significant about this mission is that this is the first time that a launch vehicle will blast off from the newly-built, sophisticated second launch pad at Sriharikota, about 100 km from here.

    The four stages of the PSLV have been vertically integrated on a huge platform in a massive, tall building called the Vehicle Assembly Building. The PSLV was wheeled slowly on its launch platform on a rail track to the launch pad on Saturday. "We have already assembled the rocket with the satellites in the Vehicle Assembly Building. We are planning the launch for May 5," Mr. Narayana said.

    He said the countdown would start on May 3, that is 52 hours before the launch. The Mission Readiness Team, which consists of experts, would review the health of the launch vehicle, the two satellites and the ground stations and make its recommendations. Based on these, the Launch Authorisation Board would give the clearance for the start of the countdown.

    The PSLV has been built by the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, which is the lead centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

    Both CARTOSAT and HAMSAT have been fabricated by the ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore.

    CARTOSAT, which weighs about 1,560 kg, will be useful in preparing atlases, monitoring the growth of cities, laying ring roads and so on.

    The 43-kg HAMSAT is a mini-satellite that will provide amateur services to HAMS (amateur radio operators).

    It has two transponders — one designed in India and, the other, by a Dutch amateur radio operator from the Higher Technical Institute, Venlo, the Netherlands.

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