A Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C26) carrying the 1,425-kg Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS-1C) will be launched from Sriharikota at 1.32 a.m. on Thursday.
The countdown is progressing smoothly and the vehicle’s fourth stage has been filled with liquid propellants. The PSLV-C26 is a four-stage vehicle, with the first and third stages using solid propellants and the second and fourth, liquid fuel.
“On Monday, we completed filling the fourth stage and the control systems with fuel. Tomorrow [Wednesday], we will withdraw the Mobile Service Tower [MST] and we will start filling the second stage with the propellants,” said M.Y.S. Prasad, Director, Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.
The MST is a massive structure in which the four stages of the PSLV are stacked up on the launch platform. A few hours before the lift-off, the MST will be wheeled a kilometre away.
“Things are normal. There is no problem,” said K. Sivan, Director, Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre, Indian Space Research Organisation.
The IRNSS-1C, part of a constellation of seven satellites, will help in terrestrial, aerial and sea navigation. Civilian aircraft can use them for cruising, approaching an airport to land and during landing. In defence, they will aid missiles to reach their targets accurately or in way-pointing them to circumvent hills. The atomic clocks on the satellites will help missiles in executing their manoeuvres at the appointed time.