ISRO to launch PSLV-C50 today at 3.41 pm IST, carrying communications satellite CMS-01 to orbit

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to launch a communication satellite on Thursday, 17 December at 3.41 pm IST from the Second Launch Pad (SLP) of Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota. The communication satellite CMS-01 will be onboard the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C50). While the launch date was initially scheduled for 7 December, it was pushed back to 8 December and again to 14 December due to bad weather and the possibility of hurricanes, Eenadu reported. Yesterday, the PSLV-C50 along with the CMS-01 satellite was moved to the launchpad in preparation for launch day.

The PSLV-C50/CMS-01 ready for lift-off on 17 December. Image credit: ISRO

PSLV-C50 is the 22nd flight of the PSLV in the 'XL' configuration, and the 52nd PSLV flight. ISRO added that this will be the 77th launch vehicle mission from SDSC, SHAR. The PSLV is 44-metre-high and has four stages with six strap-on booster motors on to the first stage that gives it's a higher thrust during the initial flight moments. ISRO has developed and used different PSLV variants, including ones with either two or four strap-on motors, or the Core Alone variant without any strap-on motors. As the PSLV is not a reusable rocket, the first stage won't be reclaimed and it will crash into the Indian Ocean.

The payload: CMS-01

CMS-01 is the 42nd communication satellite from India and weighs around 1,410 kgs. It will be replacing the ageing GSAT-12 satellite that was launched in 2011, according to a report by Everyday Astronaut. It will provide telecom services in the Extended-C Band of the frequency spectrum. In a statement, ISRO has said the Extended-C Band coverage will include Indian mainland, Andaman-Nicobar and Lakshadweep Islands. Twenty minutes into the flight, it will be set in the Geostationary Orbit (GEO) at 83° inclination.

The expected mission life of this spacecraft is supposed to be seven years or more.

According to IANS, ISRO Chairman K. Sivan had earlier stated that the PSLV-C50 rocket launch will be followed by the launch of the new Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) carrying the Earth Observation Satellite (EOS-02) and the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-F10 (GSLV) carrying the EOS-3. The other Indian satellites that are ready for launch are GISAT and Microsat-2A.

With input from wires

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