Countdown for Indian rocket launch progressing smoothly` | india | Hindustan Times
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Countdown for Indian rocket launch progressing smoothly`

india Updated: Jul 11, 2010 23:07 IST
Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle

The countdown for Monday's launch of India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle(PSLV) rocket carrying five satellites, including one for cartography, is progressing without a hitch, an official said.

The countdown started Saturday morning for the launch of the 44-metre tall, 230-tonne PSLV.

"The launch countdown has been progressing smoothly and we are getting ready for the Monday launch," S. Satish, a director at the Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO), told IANS.

The rocket will blast off into space from Sriharikota, around 80 km from here, carrying the 694 kg Cartosat 2B and an Algerian satellite Alsat(116 kg).

It will also carry three very small satellites, NLS 6.1 and NLS 6.2 from Canada and Switzerland, and StudSat that is developed by students of engineering colleges in Bangalore and Hyderabad.

ISRO has been carrying out multiple launches for several years. In 2008, it set a world record by launching 10 satellites at one go.

By 9.30 p.m today filling of liquid fuel will be completed.

By midnight, the rocket's electronic systems will be switched on to take measurements, ISRO officials told IANS.

According to ISRO officials, the rocket's flight path will be continuously fine-tuned by measuring the wind speed at regular intervals before the blast off.

The wind speed measured half-an-hour before the blast off will be used to finalise the rocket's flight path.

According to the officials, the wind velocity will be around 180 km per hour between 11-15 km above the earth. At this wind speed, the rocket can easily glide through.

Built to last for five years, the Rs.200-crore Cartosat-2B is India's 17th remote sensing satellite and is meant to augment ISRO's remote sensing data services along with two other satellites, Cartosat-2 and 2A launched earlier.

The satellites' imagery can be used for preparing detailed forest type maps, tree volume estimation, village or cadastral level crop inventory, town or village settlement mapping and planning for development, rural connectivity, canal alignment, coastal land form, mining monitoring and others.

"With the launch of Cartosat-2B, ISRO will have 10 remote sensing satellites in orbit that are IRS 1D, Resourcesat 1, TES, Cartosat 1, 2 & 2A, IMS 1, RISAT-2, Oceansat 1 and 2," Satish, the director for publications and public relations, said.

India is a world leader in the remote sensing data market, earning a sizeable amount.

"The other remote sensing satellites that are slated for launch are RISAT(end of 2010 or early 2011), Resourcesat and Megha-Tropiques," Satish added.