New Delhi, September 7, 2012
Panoramic view of PSLV-C21 on the first launch pad at Sriharikota, on September 7, 2012. Photo Courtesy: ISRO
India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-21) will be launched from the spaceport at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota, about 90 km from Chennai, on September 9 and put into orbit the French earth observation satellite Spot-6 and Japanese micro-satellite Proiteres.
A press release from the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said the Launch Authorisation Board (LAB) for the mission, which met yesterday at Sriharikota, had cleared its launch at 0951 hours IST on Sunday, September 9.
Accordingly, the 51-hour countdown commenced at 06:51 hours today, during which propellant-filling operations of the liquid propellant second stage (PS2) and fourth stage
(PS4) of the launch vehicle will be carried out.
Besides, mandatory checks on the launch vehicle and spacecraft will be carried out. Also, charging of batteries and pressurisation of propellant tanks onboard the satellite will be performed. Readiness of various ground systems such as tracking radar systems and communication networks will also be ascertained.
PSLV-C21 will inject Spot-6 and Proiteres satellites into an orbit of 655 km altitude at an inclination of 98.23 degrees, the release added.
This will be the 22nd PSLV mission. In its previous 21 missions, the four-stage PSLV had 20 successful flights till April this year.
With its variant configurations, PSLV has proved its multi-payload, multi-mission capability in a single launch and its geosynchronous launch capability and has become the workshorse launch vehicle of ISRO.
The same PSLV with extended version of strap-on motors PSOM-XL, was used for the prestigious Chandrayaan lunar mission.
With a lift-off mass of 712 kg, Spot-6 will be the heaviest satellite to be launched by PSLV for an international customer. Proiteres, being carried as an auxiliary payload, has a lift-off mass of 15 kg, ISRO sources said.
The mission will be the eighth of PSLV in the core-alone configuration (without solid strap-on motors).
Spot-6 is capable of imaging the earth with a resolution of 1.5 metres. The latest generation optical remote sensing satellite is built by Astrium, a European space technology company.
Proiteres is intended to study powered flight of a small satellite by an electric thruster and observe Kansai district of Japan with a high-resolution camera.