March 10: The stage is set for Thursday’s launch of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle that will put the sixth satellite of India’s global positioning system into space.
The PSLV-C32 will take off from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, SDSC, Shar, Sriharikota, at 4 pm. It will carry the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite IRNSS-1F.
The last satellite in the series will be launched in the third week of April.
While four satellites will be sufficient to start operations of the IRNSS system, the remaining three will make it more “accurate and efficient,” said an ISRO official.
The IRNSS-1F weighs 1,425 kg and will be launched in a sub-Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit. It has a 12 year mission life.
The 54.5-hour countdown began on Tuesday soon after the Mission Readiness Review Committee and Launch Authorisation Board cleared it.
ISRO chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar reached Shar on Wednesday afternoon and inspected the launch pad before being briefed by scientists.
The Regional Naviga-tion System uses a combination of three geostationary earth orbit satellites and four geosynchronous orbit spacecraft.
The IRNSS is expected to provide position accuracy of better than 20 metres over the Indian region and an area extending about 1,500 sq. km around the country.