On Monday, February 25, 2013, the Indian Space Agency will launch seven foreign satellites including an Indo-French collaborative satellite SARAL.
As per media reports, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said that launch of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C20 (PSLV-C20) is currently fixed for February 25 evening.
The rocket will blast off from the Sriharikota rocket launch centre carrying seven satellites, totally weighing around 700 kg.
During the 59 hour countdown, which starts on February 22, the systems will be checked and the rocket will be fueled.
According to ISRO, the rocket is expected to escape the earth’s gravitational force at around 6 pm and inject the satellites in sun synchronous orbit (SSO) at around 785 km.
Speaking about SARAL (Satellite for ARGOS and ALTIKA), Indian officials said the French gave the two payloads – ARGOS and ALTIKA) while ISRO provided satellite bus (satellite frame) and built the satellite.
“The data generated by SARAL will be shared by France and India whereas the other five satellites would be launched on commercial basis,” an ISRO official said.
The SARAL will carry an Altimeter (ALTIKA) for studying the sea surface heights and ARGOS payload, which is a satellite based data collection platform.
The other six satelites which the PSLV-C20 will sling into orbit are – two Canadian satellite NEOSSat (Near Earth Object Space Surveillance Satellite), the world’s first space telescope designed by Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and Sapphire satellite built by MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA). The other four satellites are BRITE and UniBRITE (both Austria), STRAND (Britain) and AAUSAT (Denmark).
Launching of all these satellites will bring in the much needed revenue for the Indian Space agency.