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Updated: July 14, 2011 03:02 IST

PSLV to put GSAT-12 in orbit on Friday

T. S. Subramanian
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The fully stacked-up PSLV-C17 being ferried on the Mobile Launch Pedestal to the second launch pad at Sriharikota. The PSLV-C17 is scheduled to lift off on July 15 at 4.48 p.m. to put GSAT-12, a communication satellite, in orbit. Photo Courtesy : ISRO
The Hindu
The fully stacked-up PSLV-C17 being ferried on the Mobile Launch Pedestal to the second launch pad at Sriharikota. The PSLV-C17 is scheduled to lift off on July 15 at 4.48 p.m. to put GSAT-12, a communication satellite, in orbit. Photo Courtesy : ISRO

Countdown begins at 11.48 a.m. on Wednesday

With the 53-hour countdown for the launch of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C17) commencing at 11.48 a.m. on Wednesday, the stage is set for the rocket's lift-off from Sriharikota at 4.48 p.m. on Friday.

The PSLV-C17 will put in orbit communication satellite GSAT-12, which weighs 1,410 kg. It is a more powerful version of the standard PSLV, called PSLV-XL that will put the satellite in orbit after a 20-minute flight.

“The countdown is going on satisfactorily,” said P.S. Veeraraghavan, Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram, from Sriharikota on Wednesday. The launch window is between 4.48 p.m. and 5.08 p.m. “We will use the earliest opportunity” at 4.48 p.m. for the rocket's ignition, he said. The four-stage PSLV was built by the VSSC.

This is the second time that a powerful PSLV-XL version will lift off from the second launch pad at Sriharikota. It was earlier used to put Chandrayaan-1 into orbit on October 22, 2008. While the six strap-on booster motors of the standard version of the PSLV carry a total of nine tonnes of solid propellants, the strap-on motors in the XL version are powered by a total of 12 tonnes of fuel.

“This is [also] the second time that a PSLV is being used to put a satellite in a geo-synchronous transfer orbit (GTO),” said Mr. Veeraraghavan. It was earlier used on September 12, 2002 to put Kalpana, a weather satellite, in GTO.

Raising the apogee

In fact, the PSLV-C17 will put GSAT-12 in a sub-GTO with a perigee (nearest point to the earth) of 284 km and an apogee (farthest point from the earth) of 21,000 km. After it is put in a sub-GTO, commands will be given to the liquid apogee motor (LAM) on board the satellite to boost the apogee to 36,000 km. After it is done, commands will be given to boost the perigee from 284 km to 36,000 km.

“For the first time, in our communication satellites, we are raising the apogee from 21,000 km to 36,000 km in two stages. This is a crucial manoeuvre. To raise the apogee, you have to fire the LAM when the satellite is in its perigee. So the LAM firing is a challenge,” said a satellite technologist of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The satellite will thus reach a circular geo-stationary orbit of 36,000 km.

Advanced mission computer

“A significant feature of the PSLV-C17,” said Mr. Veeraraghavan, “is that it will use an advanced mission computer with indigenous processors. The ISRO built the computer. We also built our own processors. The advanced mission computer will be used for navigation, guidance and controlling” the rocket. The ISRO earlier used imported processor chips in the PSLV missions. In the PSLV-C12 mission in 2009, it used one chain of imported processors and another chain of indigenous processors. “In this mission, both the prime and the redundant chains have indigenous processors,” Mr. Veeraraghavan said.

The GSAT-12, with 12 extended C-band transponders, will be used for tele-medicine, tele-education, telephone and various other communication purposes.

This is the 19th PSLV mission, out of which 17 have been successful in a row. The PSLV-C17 weighs 310 tonnes and is 44 metres tall.

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All the best for ISRO

from:  ramiza
Posted on: Jul 15, 2011 at 14:12 IST

Good progress, but we're simply re-using and re-doing what we know we can and have already done. We have to work on increasing the payload capacity for any form of future in space technology. India should have it's own indigenous GPS (India's own, not augmented American or European networks) and it's own heavy payload lifting capabilities. A proven space programme means, a highly successful and reliable missile and missile shield programme. Let's save money on these minor launches on technology we know we have and spend time and resources on tech we don't have currently.

from:  Raj
Posted on: Jul 15, 2011 at 10:32 IST

All the best for the mission. I am Sure it will launch Successfully.

from:  Sandhya
Posted on: Jul 15, 2011 at 10:22 IST

We are proud Indians. I salute the scientists who are working for this.

from:  joy bharat
Posted on: Jul 15, 2011 at 08:20 IST

All the best to ISRO...I wish good luck to our scientists.

from:  Reji Iype
Posted on: Jul 15, 2011 at 08:08 IST

All the best to ISRO.

from:  dhirendra
Posted on: Jul 15, 2011 at 00:13 IST

despite terror attack on Mumbai some good news coming from our science and technology side that will make us happy in this movement and we can use our technology to prevent these terror plot on our country in near future.

from:  Devendra Singh Dandotiya
Posted on: Jul 14, 2011 at 22:55 IST

All the best...ready for the last push into GTO

from:  sachin
Posted on: Jul 14, 2011 at 17:18 IST

The VERY BEST of LUCK to ISRO for successful PSLV launch

from:  Nabankur Biswas
Posted on: Jul 14, 2011 at 16:48 IST

All the best to ISRO..................

from:  thirumala
Posted on: Jul 14, 2011 at 15:48 IST

It's very important mission, all eyes on ISRO.World is looking on us that can india deliver on complicated and heavy mission.If our scientist will execute it properly than it will open huge window of opportunity to ISRO.This mission will go long way to address the problem of health,communication and agriculture.i wish good luck to our scientist..am sure they will make us proud...

from:  Alok Kumar
Posted on: Jul 14, 2011 at 15:03 IST

this flight of PSLV is a steady progressive achievement of ISRO,because for the first time PSLV has flown with GSAT,which is more prestigious,economic & indigenous success of the nation.

from:  Rajesh Bhaduria
Posted on: Jul 14, 2011 at 14:13 IST

Good Luck to ISRO....this is the kind of news we'd like to hear about!

from:  Shachi
Posted on: Jul 14, 2011 at 12:35 IST

It is good to read news about India's achievements in space technology, satellite communications, etc. Let us hope India also advances in the fields of education and health care since education and health care translate into healthy individuals who are the backbone of any nation. More hospitals and more universities of world repute are needed in India with advanced technologies. A population of 1.21 billion people needs to be well educated and healthy if India is to propel itself into a super power in the 21st century. There is a lot of work to do in the areas of health, hygiene, and education, but at least it is great to see India's achievements in satellite launching. ISRO is to be commended for the achievements. We NRIs feel happy to see positive news about India in the Hindu newspaper such as developments and achievements in science, engineering, education and medicine.

from:  Sundip Mundkur
Posted on: Jul 14, 2011 at 07:31 IST
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