Indian rocket set for launch Friday

July 14th, 2011 - 7:04 pm ICT by IANS  

ISRO Chennai, July 14 (IANS) The stage is set for the Friday launch of India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C17 (PSLV-C17) ferrying the 1,140 kg GSAT-12 communication satellite.

The rocket will blast-off from the second launch pad at 4.48 p.m. Friday from Indian Space Research Organisation’s rocket port at Sriharikota around 80 km from here.

The 53-hour countdown for the launch is progressing smoothly.

“The countdown for the launch is progressing smoothly. We do not see and problem in the launch,” S. Satish, ISRO’s director for publications and public relations, told IANS.

The GSAT-12 satellite has 12 extended C-band transponders - automatic receivers and transmitters for communication and broadcast of signals.

The satellite is expected to serve the Very Small Aperture Terminal (V-SAT) sector. VSATs are used to transmit data like point of sale transactions or to provide satellite internet access.

It will also be useful for various communication services like tele-education, tele-medicine and for village resource centres.

The satellite will augment transponder capacity of Indian National Satellite (Insat) system which presently comprises of eight satellites - Insat-2E, Insat-3A, Insat-3C, Insat-3E, Insat-4A, Insat-4B, Insat-4CR and GSAT-8 providing 175 transponders in the S, C, extend C and Ku bands.

ISRO officials told IANS that fuelling of the rocket’s second stage will commence around 11 p.m. Thursday night and will be completed around 8 a.m. Friday.

After that, the propellant and helium gas chambers will have to be pressurised, a process that would take another couple of hours.

On Thursday the rocket’s fourth stage/engine was fuelled with liquid propellants. The gas and propellant chambers were pressurised.

Costing around Rs.90 crore, the PSLV-C17 rocket standing 44 metre tall and weighing around 320 tonne is a four stage rocket powered by solid and liquid propellants alternatively.

The first and third stages are fired by a solid propellant and the second and fourth stages by a liquid propellant.

The solid fuel stages are cast ready while the liquid propellant will be filled hours before the blast-off.

ISRO will be using its third PSLV rocket variant - PSLV-XL - with longer strap-on motors with higher fuel capacity.

The other two rocket variants are the PSLV standard version with 11.3 metre six strap-on motors and the PSLV Core Alone (CA) rocket without the six strap-on motors.

The rocket to be launched Friday will have 13.5 metre long strap-on motors to carry 12 tonnes of solid fuel than the normal strap-on motors measuring 11.3 metre with 9 tonne fuel capacity.

This will be the second time ISRO will be launching a rocket with this specification. The earlier one was for the Chandrayaan moon mission.

This will also be only the second time ISRO will be using a PSLV rocket for launching a satellite to be finally placed in geostationary orbit. The first satellite was Kalpana-1 (originally named as Metsat), a meteorological satellite launched in 2002.

The GSAT-12 satellite will be co-located with Inst-2E and Insat-4A satellites and will have a life of eight years.

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