Nellore: The Indian Space Research Organisation is all set to launch its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C49) at 3.02 pm on Saturday. The rocket will be carrying the earth observation satellite EOS-01 and nine of international customers.
The 26-hour countdown commenced at 1.02 pm on Friday and is going on smoothly, sources said. The operation to fuel up the rocket is in progress during the countdown. The launch will take place at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota range, in Nellore district.
This is the first launch this year for ISRO and the flight is the 51st for PSLV, the workhorse rocket. It will be the 76th launch from Shar and 38th from the first pad from the spaceport.
The EOS-01 is intended for applications in agriculture, forestry and disaster management support. The customer satellites — one from Lithuania, four each from Luxembourg and the USA — are being launched under commercial agreement with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), department of space.
The Lithuania satellite, R2, is meant for technology demonstration while the Luxembourg satellites, Kleos (KSM-1A/1B/1C/1D), are designed for maritime applications. The 4 USA satellites, named Lemur (Lemur-1/2/3/4), are meant for multi-mission remote sensing.
Sources in Shar said that ISRO Chairman Dr K. Sivan is driving to Sriharikota from Bengaluru, and is expected to reach the spaceport later on Friday night. He will be present for the launch on Saturday.
A team of officials went to Tirumala to seek the blessings of Lord Balaji for the mission since Dr Sivan, who used to make it a point to visit Tirumala before every launch, is directly heading to Shar, sources said....