PM to arrive today at 5.30 p.m.

The 51-hour countdown for the launch of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C21) began on Friday at 6.51 a.m. at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), popularly called SHAR (Sriharikota High Altitude Range) in Nellore district.

According to the schedule, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will arrive by special aircraft at SHAR by 5.30 p.m. on Saturday. He will be received by Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan and Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, who will arrive from Tirupati. The 100th mission of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is being seen as a moment of pride for the country’s space fraternity.

Unprecedented security arrangements have been made by both the district police and the central agencies in and around the SHAR in view of the VIP movement.

During the countdown for PSLV launch, propellant-filling, various mandatory checks, charging of batteries and pressurisation of propellant tanks will be carried out. Tracking of ground operations connected with radars and communication systems will be monitored, said SHAR sources.

According to the commercial agreement, Spot-6 earth imaging French satellite will be the 28th foreign satellite being injected into orbit by the PSLV. The 27th satellite was VesselSat-1 of Luxembourg, which was carried into space by PSLV-C18 in October, 2011.

Nellore district Collector B. Sridhar, Superintendent of Police B.V. Ramana Kumar, and top officials were monitoring the arrangements for the Prime Minister’s visit. Combing operations were carried out in the vicinity of SHAR ahead of the VIP visit.

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