India to launch Saral and six other satellites in a single space mission
SARAL (Satellite with ARGOS and ALTIKA ) is an ISRO-CNES(France) joint venture and will carry tools to space that can be used for oceanographic studies.
As scientific reports recently suggested that sea level in the Indian ocean is rising unevenly, the satellite will help India measure the sea heights and study its topography to prepare the densely populated coastal areas for water-related natural disasters.
The February 25th mission of putting seven satellites into orbit marks the 23rd mission for the Indian rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). PSLV is a seven-storey-high rocket weighing 230 tonnes which has launched more than 50 satellites into space until now.
“PSLV-C20 will launch SARAL along with six commercial payloads on Feb 25, 2013 at 17:56 hrs [local time] from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota,” the ISRO said on its website.
Among the other smaller six satellites, one is from Britain, and the rest are from Canada (two), Austria (two) and Denmark (one).
The launch comes three days after ISRO’s launch rehearsal of PSLV - C20 with the primary satellite SARAL and six other satellites were completed satisfactorily at Sriharikota.
After receiving clearance from the Launch Authorisation Board for the mission, the 59-hour countdown began at 6.56am local time on Saturday February 23.
ISRO scientists have completed all propellant filling operations and are ready for the launch.
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Saral mission is the first of the ten space missions ISRO has planned for 2013 and will be witnessed by President Pranab Mukherjee.
Earlier last year, India launched its heaviest satellite -- GSAT-10 (weighing 3400 kilograms) -- to boost DTH communication services.
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