Chennai: The stage is set for the Friday launch of India`s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C17 (PSLV-C17) ferrying the 1,140 kg GSAT-12 communication satellite.
The rocket will blast-off from the second launch pad at 4.48 p.m. Friday from Indian Space Research Organisation`s rocket port at Sriharikota around 80 km from here.
The 53-hour countdown for the launch is progressing smoothly.
"The countdown for the launch is progressing smoothly. We do not see and problem in the launch," S. Satish, ISRO`s director for publications and public relations, told IANS.
The GSAT-12 satellite has 12 extended C-band transponders - automatic receivers and transmitters for communication and broadcast of signals.
The satellite is expected to serve the Very Small Aperture Terminal (V-SAT) sector. VSATs are used to transmit data like point of sale transactions or to provide satellite internet access.
It will also be useful for various communication services like tele-education, tele-medicine and for village resource centres.
The satellite will augment transponder capacity of Indian National Satellite (Insat) system which presently comprises of eight satellites - Insat-2E, Insat-3A, Insat-3C, Insat-3E, Insat-4A, Insat-4B, Insat-4CR and GSAT-8 providing 175 transponders in the S, C, extend C and Ku bands.
ISRO officials said that fuelling of the rocket`s second stage will commence around 11 p.m. Thursday night and will be completed around 8 a.m. Friday.
After that, the propellant and helium gas chambers will have to be pressurised, a process that would take another couple of hours.
On Thursday the rocket`s fourth stage/engine was fuelled with liquid propellants. The gas and propellant chambers were pressurised.
Costing around Rs.90 crore, the PSLV-C17 rocket standing 44 metre tall and weighing around 320 tonne is a four stage rocket powered by solid and liquid propellants alternatively.
The first and third stages are fired by a solid propellant and the second and fourth stages by a liquid propellant.
The solid fuel stages are cast ready while the liquid propellant will be filled hours before the blast-off.
ISRO will be using its third PSLV rocket variant - PSLV-XL - with longer strap-on motors with higher fuel capacity.
The other two rocket variants are the PSLV standard version with 11.3 metre six strap-on motors and the PSLV Core Alone (CA) rocket without the six strap-on motors.
The rocket to be launched Friday will have 13.5 metre long strap-on motors to carry 12 tonnes of solid fuel than the normal strap-on motors measuring 11.3 metre with 9 tonne fuel capacity.
This will be the second time ISRO will be launching a rocket with this specification. The earlier one was for the Chandrayaan moon mission.
This will also be only the second time ISRO will be using a PSLV rocket for launching a satellite to be finally placed in geostationary orbit. The first satellite was Kalpana-1 (originally named as Metsat), a meteorological satellite launched in 2002.
The GSAT-12 satellite will be co-located with Inst-2E and Insat-4A satellites and will have a life of eight years.