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ISRO Begins Countdown for India’s 100th space mission

The countdown for the launch of PSLV-C21 started at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, 100km north of Chennai on Friday. The rocket carrying French remote sensing satellite SPOT-6 and a Japanese satellite Proiteres will blast off at 9.51am on Sunday.

The launch authoristion board for PSLV-C21, which met on Wednesday at Sriharikota cleared the launch at the designated time. The Sunday launch will mark Isro’s 100th space mission. PM Manmohan Singh will witness the landmark mission of Isro which launched its first satellite ‘Arybhata’ in 1975.

‘The 51-hour countdown commenced at 6:51am on Friday. During the countdown, propellant-filling operations of the liquid propellant second stage (PS2) and fourth stage (PS4) of the launch vehicle will be carried out. Mandatory checks on the launch vehicle and spacecraft will be carried out. Also, charging of batteries and pressurisation of propellant tanks onboard the satellite will be performed. Readiness of various ground systems such as tracking radar systems and communication networks will also be ascertained,’ the ISRO statement said.

PSLV-C21 will inject the 720kg SPOT-6 and 15kg Proiteres satellites into an orbit of 655 km altitude at an inclination of 98.23 deg. PSLV, which was used for Chandrayaan-1 in October, 2008, has so far had 20 consecutively successful launches.
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