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ISRO milestone mission to become a reality

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Chennai:  Indian rocket carrying seven satellites, including the country’s first dedicated multi-wavelength space observatory – ASTROSAT, is put on the 50-hour countdown for its launch on September 28.

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India has so far launched 45 foreign satellites for a fee. India will cross the half-century milestone on Monday once it successfully injects the six foreign satellites into their intended orbit.

According to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the Saturday countdown for the launch of the polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) began as scheduled at 8:00 AM.

The rocket with seven satellites will blast off on Monday at 10:00 AM from the first launch pad of the rocket port at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

In 2008, ISRO had launched 10 satellites in one go including India’s Cartosate-2A satellite. Now, ISRO will be launching seven satellites for the third time in its history.

The 44.4 metre tall 320 tonne PSLV-XL version is a four-stage rocket with six strap-on motors for additional thrust during the initial phase of the flight. The first and third stages are powered by solid fuel while the second and fourth stages are powered by liquid fuel which will be filled during the countdown. Apart from fuelling up the engines, all the systems would be checked and rechecked during the countdown.

On Thursday ISRO’s Mission Readiness Review (MRR) committee and Launch Authorisation Board (LAB) cleared the 50-hour countdown.

On Monday morning the rocket will launch India’s ASTROSAT weighing 1,513 kg, apart from four from the US and one each from Indonesia and Canada.

The PSLV will carry a total payload of 1,631 kg during this mission. Just over 22 minutes into the flight, the rocket will eject ASTROSAT at an altitude of 650 kms above the earth. Soon after, six other satellites will be put into orbit and the whole mission will come to an end in just over 25 minutes.

ASTROSAT, with a life span of five years, will observe the universe through optical, ultraviolet, low and high energy X-ray components of the electromagnetic spectrum, whereas most other scientific satellites are capable of observing through a narrow wavelength band, the agency said.

The Indonesian 76 kg LAPAN-A2 is a micro-satellite from the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space, meant for providing maritime surveillance using automatic identification system (AIS), supporting Indonesian radio amateur communities for disaster mitigation and carrying out earth surveillance using video and digital camera.

The 14-kg NLS-14 (Ev9) of Space Flight Laboratory, University of Toronto Institute for Advanced Studies, is also a maritime monitoring Canadian nano satellite using the next generation AIS.

The remaining four LEMUR nano satellites from Spire Global Inc, San Francisco, US, are non-visual remote sensing satellites, focusing primarily on global maritime intelligence through vessel tracking via AIS and high fidelity weather forecasting using GPS radio occultation technology, the ISRO said.

(With inputs from IANS)

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ISRO Launches ‘Young Scientist’ Programme to Train Students in Space Science

The list of students taking part in the training programme's maiden session during this summer (May-June) is expected by March-end

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credit: static.dnaindia.com

State-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Monday announced the launch of its Young Scientist programme to train class 9 students in space technology and its applications.

“ISRO has launched the special programme for school children ‘Yuva Vigyani Karyakram’ (Young Scientist programme) to impart basic knowledge on space technology, space science and applications to the young ones to arouse their interest in space activities,” the city-based space agency said in a statement.

With an aim to spread scientific fervour among the youth in the country, ISRO said it chalked out the programme to “catch them young”.

The two-week residential training programme will be held each year during summer holidays for students from across the country who have completed class 8 and are studying in class 9.

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Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Chairman K. Sivan, left, and Junior Indian Minister for Department of Atomic Energy and Space Jitendra Singh address a news conference in New Delhi. VOA

“Three students will be selected from each state/union territory to participate in the programme each year covering CBSE, ICSE and state syllabus,” the statement said.

The space agency has approached the Chief Secretaries of the states for the selection of three students from each state and Union Territories.

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The list of students taking part in the training programme’s maiden session during this summer (May-June) is expected by March-end, ISRO said.

“The selection is based on the academic performance and extracurricular activities. Students belonging to rural areas have been given special weightage in the selection criteria,” it added. (IANS)