ISRO to launch SARAL satellite on Dec 12 this year



ISRO to launch SARAL satellite on Dec 12 this year Bangalore: Indo-French satellite "SARAL" would be launched onboard PSLV-C20 from the spaceport of Sriharikota on December 12, this year, Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman K Radhakrishnan said today.

"PSLV-C20 will be assembled in about 25 days in Sriharikota and the satellite will be launched on December 12, 2012. As somebody said it's 12-12-12 (launch date)," he said at the Bangalore Space Expo 2012 here.

Radhakrishnan also said the European space consortium Arianespace would launch India's GSAT-10 communication satellite from Kourou in French Guiana at 2.30 AM (Indian time) on September 22.

ISRO officials said SARAL is a small satellite mission with payloads -- Argos and Altika -- from French space agency CNES for study of ocean parameters towards enhancing the understanding of the ocean state conditions which are otherwise not covered by the in-situ measurements.

The satellite has been built by ISRO, which would also take care of the launch services.

SARAL will provide data products to operational and research user communities, in support of marine meteorology and sea state forecasting; operational oceanography; seasonal forecasting; climate monitoring; ocean, earth system and climate research, the officials said.

Referring to the GSAT-10 communication satellite, Radhakrishnan said, "We are going to French Guiana for the launch because the satellite weighs 3.4 tonnes which cannot be lifted by any of our vehicles -- PSLV or GSLV."

Officials said GSAT-10 would carry 30 transponders, including 12 in Ku band, along with a GAGAN (GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation) payload. GSAT-10 is a Rs 750 crore mission, including launch services cost.

GSAT-10, which will have a minimum operational life of 15 years, is envisaged to augment the growing need for transponders and provide communication services and augment the existing ones.

PTI