ISRO to launch PSLV-C44 just before midnight today
Just before midnight on Thursday, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch its 46th flight of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C44), to put into space Microsat-R, an imaging satellite and Kalamsat, a communication satellite developed by students, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
The launch at 11:37 pm is said to be unique as PSLV-C44 fourth stage will be re-used automatically to launch Kalamsat payload and Microsat-R satellite into space from the First Launch Pad (FLP). PSLV is a four-stage launch vehicle with alternating solid and liquid stages.
The PSLV with two strap-on configuration has been identified for this mission and the configuration is designated as PSLV-DL. PSLV-C44 is the first mission of PSLV-DL and is a new variant of PSLV.
In PSLV-C44, the fourth stage (PS4) of the vehicle will be moved to a higher circular orbit so as to establish an orbital platform for carrying out experiments. Kalamsat, a student payload, will be the first to use PS4 as orbital platform. PSLV-C44 will also carry Microsat-R, an imaging satellite.
Earlier, ISRO Chairman K. Sivan said India’s second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2, which was scheduled to be launched in late 2018, is now expected to be launched between March 25 and end of April this year.