PSLV-C15 countdown progressing well, launch tomorrow



PSLV-C15 countdown progressing well, launch tomorrow Chennai: The stage is set for the launch of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C15 carrying five payloads, including India's remote sensing satellite Cartosat-2B, from the spaceport in Sriharikota on Monday.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) officials said the countdown for the launch was progressing well.

"There are no problems. The countdown, which began at 6.52 AM yesterday, is progressing smoothly," ISRO spokesperson S Satish told a news agency today.

He said PSLV-C15, the workhorse launch vehicle of ISRO, would lift off at 9.22 AM from the first launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, about 90 km from here.

"Preparations are in full swing and all parameters for the launch of PSLV-C-15, which will place the five satellites into the 634 km polar sun synchronous orbit (SSO) orbit, are doing well," he said.

Besides the 694 kg Cartosat-2B, the rocket is carrying Alsat from Algeria, a nano satellite each from Canada and Switzerland and a pico (very small) satellite 'Studsat' built by seven engineering students in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

Cartosat-2B, which would help in urban planning and infrastructure development such as laying ring-roads and rerouting of highways, is equipped with a panchromatic camera similar to that of its two predecessors -- Cartosat-2 and 2A.

The satellite is capable of imaging a swath (geographical strip of land) of 9.6 km with a resolution of 0.8 meters.

It also carries a solid state recorder with a capacity of 64 giga bites to store the images taken by its camera, which can be accessed by the ground stations.

The multiple spot scene imagery sent by Cartosat-2B camera would also be useful for village/cadastral level resource assessment and mapping, preparation of large-scale cartographic maps and preparation of micro watershed development plans.

Its imagery can also be used for the preparation of detailed forest type maps, tree volume estimation, village level crop inventory, town/village settlement mapping and planning for comprehensive development.

The imagery would also assist in plans for canal alignment, rural connectivity assessment, planning new rural roads and monitoring their construction, coastal landform/land use and coral/mangrove mapping and monitoring of mining activities.

Alsat from Algeria, weighing 116 kg, is also a remote-sensing satellite. The two nano satellites, NLS 6.1 and NLS 6.2, weigh six kg and one kg each. Studsat weighs less than one kg.

Besides launching 17 Indian satellites, PSLV has launched 22 foreign satellites as well during 1994-2009 into polar sun synchronous, geosynchronous transfer, highly elliptical and low earth orbits, proving its reliability and versatility.

The 44-meter tall 'core alone' version of PSLV weighs 230 tons at lift-off. PSLV-C15 is the sixth flight of the 'core alone' version of PSLV.

The mission was delayed by two months because of a contaminant in the vehicle's second stage that uses liquid propellants.

The second stage was taken back to the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) at Mahendragiri, near Nagercoil in Tamil Nadu, and cleaned. Then it was transported to Sriharikota again and integrated with the first stage.

After the failure of first developmental flight on September 20, 1993, all subsquent 15 launches of PSLV have been successful.

PTI