Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is in-charge of Space and Atomic Energy, will be at Sriharikota on September 9 to watch the launch of a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C21) that will put French remote-sensing satellite SPOT-6 and Japanese micro-satellite PROITERES in orbit.

The launch will be the 100th mission of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

According to ISRO, if a satellite built by it is put in orbit by another country’s launch vehicle, it is counted as one mission. If India’s or other countries’ satellites are put in orbit by an ISRO-built rocket such as SLV-3 or PSLV from Sriharikota, it is counted as two missions.

The Prime Minister will reach Sriharikota on September 8 evening, stay overnight and watch the launch next morning between 9.20 a.m. and 9.50 a.m. The four stages of the PSLV have been assembled in the first launch pad on the seafront of the spindle-shaped island. The launch vehicle, weighing 230 tonnes and 44 metres tall, will be a core-alone version without strap-on booster motors.

SPOT-6, weighing about 716 kg, is built by Astrium SAS, a subsidiary of EADS, France. PROITERES that weighs 16-kg “is basically a technology demonstrator for earth observation” and has a high-resolution camera.

A team of students and faculty of the Osaka Institute of Technology (OIT) developed PROITERES, which stands for Project of OIT Electric Rocket Engine Onboard Small Space Ship.

India’s space journey began when satellite Aryabhatta lifted off from the Volgograd launch station at Kapustin-Yar (now in Russia) on April 19, 1975.

Keywords: PSLV-C21 launch

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