Countdown begins for Indo-French satellite launch

Feb 23, 2013
India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C21 blasts off at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh state in September. A countdown has begun for next week's launch of an Indian rocket that will carry seven satellites into orbit, including an Indo-French venture for studying the world's oceans, India's space agency said.

A countdown began Saturday for next week's launch of an Indian rocket that will carry seven satellites into orbit, including an Indo-French venture for studying the world's oceans, India's space agency said.

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle will blast off from the Sriharikota centre on Monday, the Press Trust of India quoted an official of the as saying.

The Indo-French satellite is called "SARAL", short for Satellite with ARGOS and ALTIKA—two climate tools developed for analysing ocean currents and sea surface heights by CNES.

The rehearsal launch from the island of Sriharikota in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh "was completed satisfactorily", the space agency official said.

During the 59-hour countdown, the rocket's systems will be checked and fuelled.

India, which aims to send its first manned flight into space in 2016, initially staked a claim for a share of the global lucrative commercial satellite-launch market in 2007 when it sent up an Italian orbiter.

The country, which plans up to 10 space missions this year and announced this week plans for an unmanned voyage to Mars, sees its space programme as underscoring its credibility as an emerging world economic power.

The other six satellites being carried into space on Monday comprise two each from Canada and Austria and one each from Denmark and Britain.

One of the Canadian satellites is NEOSSAT or the Near-Earth Object Surveillance Satellite which the calls "the world's first space telescope dedicated to detecting and tracking asteroids and satellites".

But India still has a long way to go to catch up in the commercial space arena with rival China which, along with the United States, Russia and the , are already well established.

Monday's planned launch was initially slated for last December but was postponed due to technical hitches.

India's space programme suffered a major setback in late 2010 when a satellite launch vehicle carrying an advanced communications satellite blew up and fell into the Bay of Bengal.

Explore further: MAVEN Mars spacecraft to begin orbit of Red Planet

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Indian-French satellite put into orbit

Oct 12, 2011

An Indian-French satellite that will study monsoon patterns and global warming was launched on Wednesday from a space centre in southern India.

India set to launch Mars mission in 2013

Aug 02, 2012

India plans to launch a mission to Mars next year, putting an orbital probe around the red planet to study its climate and geology, top space department officials said on Thursday.

India launches first commercial rocket

Apr 23, 2007

India's first commercial rocket was fired into space Monday, carrying a 776-pound Italian satellite that will collect data on the origins of the universe.

India clears mission to Mars

Aug 04, 2012

India's government has cleared plans to put an orbital probe around Mars next year to study the red planet's climate and geology, a report said Saturday.

Recommended for you

Internet moguls Musk, Bezos shake up US space race

Sep 20, 2014

The space race to end America's reliance on Russia escalated this week with a multibillion dollar NASA award for SpaceX's Elon Musk and an unexpected joint venture for Blue Origin's Jeff Bezos.

User comments : 0