Chandrayaan moved to launch platform for rehearsal

October 18th, 2008 - 5:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Oct 18 (IANS) India’s first lunar spacecraft Chandrayaan-1 has been moved to the launch platform for rehearsals ahead of its Oct 22 launch, a top Indian space agency official said Saturday.The fully integrated Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C11) with the lunar spacecraft atop was moved to the launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, about 80 km from Chennai, and off the Bay of Bengal.

All going well and weather permitting, India’s first unmanned lunar mission is set for launch at 6.20 a.m. Wednesday.

“The launch vehicle with the spacecraft has reached its final destination - the second launch pad - late Friday after traversing about 1 km from the vehicle assembly building on rails at a snail’s pace of a few centimetres per minute,” Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) director S. Satish told IANS here.

Inclement weather and drizzle did not dampen the spirit of the space scientists and technicians involved in the exercise.

“The 316-tonne launch vehicle with the 1,380 kg spacecraft is being fitted to the launch pad. The launch exercises, including testing, are in progress. About 1,000 scientists and technicians are working round-the-clock to prepare for the 52-hour initial countdown from the wee hours of Oct 20,” Satish added.

With 11 scientific instruments (payloads), including six foreign and five Indian, Chandrayaan was mated with the launch vehicle late Thursday for mandatory checks and the final journey.

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