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Updated: February 25, 2013 04:33 IST

Pranab to witness PSLV C-20 launch

Staff Reporter
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ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan coming out of the Lord Venkateswara temple on at Tirumala Sunday.
Special Arrangement ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan coming out of the Lord Venkateswara temple on at Tirumala Sunday.

All arrangements are made for the visit of President Pranab Mukherjee to the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) at Sriharikota here on Monday to witness the launch of PSLV C-20/SARAL Mission, which is aimed at putting seven satellites in orbit.

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C-20 is scheduled to blast off at exactly 5.56 p.m. from the first launch pad of the spaceport.

It is intended to put the Indo-French satellite SARAL along with six other commercial satellites into the sun-synchronous orbit.

The 59-hour countdown progressed normally on Sunday when preparations for 2nd stage propellant filling and withdrawal of the mobile service tower were under progress by evening. Dr. K. Radhakrishnan, Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), arrived at Sriharikota to monitor the countdown for final launch.

SDSC director M.Y.S. Prasad, PSLV project director Kunhikrishnan, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre director S. Ramakrishnan and directors of other ISRO centres checked the launch vehicle and the fuel filling operations.

This is the 23rd mission for the PSLV in which the Indo-French joint venture SARAL satellite will be put in orbit for the purpose of oceanographic studies. PSLV C-20 will have a lift-off mass of 229.7 tonnes and it would be 668.5 kgs and 44.4 metres tall.

Built by ISRO, the SARAL is a 410-kg satellite with payloads as Argos and Altika of French space agency to help in oceanography studies. The mission is intended to carry six other smaller satellites belonging to Canada (2), Austria (2), Denmark and UK (1 each).

In view of the President’s visit, security arrangements were tightened around Sriharikota. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy will receive the President at Chennai airport on Monday afternoon and accompany him to Sriharikota.

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