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Countdown begins for launch of Cartosat-2 series satellite

Countdown begins for launch of Cartosat-2 series satellite

It will lift off at 9.29 hours Friday from the first launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikotta in Andhra Pradesh, about 90 kilometers off Chennai.

On its 42nd mission, the ISRO's new and refurbished PSLV - C40 will lift off with 31 satellites of which the weather observant "Cartosat 2" series satellite is the heaviest, weighing 710 kg.

With the Mission Readiness Review committee and Launch Authorisation Board of ISRO having cleared the countdown for the launch, the Indian space agency on Thursday said "the 28-hour countdown activity of PSLV-C40/Cartosat2 Series Satellite Mission has started at 05:29 hours IST today (Thursday)".

The "Cartosat", which gets its name by combining the words "Cartography" and "Satellite", is an Indian Remote Sensing Satellite or IRS.

Among the 28 worldwide co-passenger satellites, 19 belong to the United States, five from South Korea and one each from Canada, France, UK and Finland. The cameras are capable of operating in Time Delay Integration mode and will deliver high resolution data.

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Cartosat-2 series satellite is the primary satellite carried by PSLV-C40.

The worldwide satellites are being launched as part of the commercial arrangements between Antrix Corporation Limited (Antrix), a Government of India company under Department of Space (DOS), the commercial arm of ISRO and the global customers, ISRO states.

"The propellant filling operation of fourth stage of PSLV-C40 is under progress", said an update on ISRO's website on Thursday. C40 will also place the agency's 100th satellite in the orbit. It is similar to the earlier Cartosat-2, 2A and 2B.

ISRO had suffered a setback in August previous year when PSLVC39 mission failed to launch navigation satellite IRNSS-1H due to a heatshield problem.

Tomorrow's launch also marks the first for ISRO this year after the unsuccessful mission of navigation satellite IRNSS-1H on August 31 last year when the heat shield of the rocket did not separate in the final leg of the launch sequence.