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PSLV-C50 to launch communication satellite CMS-01 on Thursday
New Delhi, December 16, 2020
India's workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C50) is slated to lift off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) at Sriharikota on the eastern coast of the country on Thursday afternoon with communication satellite CMS-01 on board.
The launch is tentatively scheduled for 1541 hours IST tomorrow, subject to weather conditions, from the Second Launch Pad (SLP) of SDSC.
The countdown for the PSLV-C50/CMS-01 mission commenced at 1441 hours today, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said.
PSLV-C50 will be the 52nd mission of PSLV, while CMS-01 is the 42nd communication satelllite of India, envisaged for providing services in Extended-C Band of the frequency spectrum.
The Extended-C Band coverage will include Indian mainland, Andaman-Nicobar & Lakshadweep Islands.
PSLV-C50 will be the 22nd flight of PSLV in XL configuration (with six strap-on motors). This will be the 77th launch vehicle mission from SDSC, Sriharikota, ISRO sources added.
The PSLV in normal configuration is a four-stage/engine expendable 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.
The Indian space agency has PSLV variants with two and four strap-on motors, the larger PSLV-XL and the Core Alone variant without any strap-on motors.
The choice of the rocket to be used for a mission depends on the weight of the satellite and the orbit in which the satellite has to be inserted.
About 20 minutes into its flight, PSLV-C50 will eject CMS-01 into geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) and from there, the satellite will be taken up and positioned at geosynchronous stationary orbit.
The CMS-01 will be a replacement for GSAT-12 that weighed 1,410 kg and was launched on July 11, 2011 with a mission life of eight years.
ISRO Chairman K. Sivan had earlier said the PSLV-C50 rocket will be followed by the launch of new small rocket Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) carrying EOS-02 (Earth Observation Satellite), and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-F10 (GSLV) carrying EOS-3.
The other Indian satellites that are ready for launch are GISAT and Microsat-2A.
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, and is being refurbished. The rocket's cryogenic engine has been brought down and it is being readied again.
The GSLV carrying GISAT-1 is expected to fly after PSLV C50.