India’s mission moon: Countdown progressing smoothly (Lead)October 20th, 2008 - 5:58 pm ICT by IANS
Chennai, Oct 20 (IANS) The countdown to India’s first mission to send a spacecraft that will orbit the moon was progressing smoothly, senior officials of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said here Monday. “The countdown started at 5.22 a.m. Monday and is progressing as per schedule,” M.Y.S. Prasad, associate director, Satish Dhawan Space Centre, told IANS from Sriharikota, India’s spaceport off the Andhra Pradesh coast, 80 km North of Chennai.
The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) that will carry the lunar orbiter Chandrayaan was being filled with liquid propellant fuel Monday for the second and fourth stages of the rocket. The fuelling will take 34 hours.
Simultaneously, all the systems on the PSLV as well as the Chandrayaan are being tested yet again.
“Now that the countdown has started, the clocks of all the ISRO centres - launch, tracking and others - have been synchronised to show uniform time. Up till the launch every action has been documented and responsibility fixed,” he added.
For instance, while pumping in the liquid fuel, the pressure at which the different stages are to be filled, the rate at which the gas is to be pumped in, the pollution levels and many other parameters are specified. Everything has to be follow the project’s ‘bluebook’ prepared earlier.
S. Satish, director, Publications & Public Relations, ISRO, said after fuelling the rocket’s avionics and other systems will be tested.
It was raining heavily in Sriharikota Monday, but the mood among the space scientists and engineers remained sunny.
For the past two weeks people at the spaceport have been working nearly round the clock.
Around 500 space scientists and 1,000 technicians are stationed at the space centre to see off the rocket early Wednesday morning.
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