Chennai: The 59-hour countdown for the February 25 launch of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle to put into orbit seven satellites, including Indo-French spacecraft SARAL, commenced at 6.56 am today at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in the spaceport of Sriharikota. The Launch Authorisation Board earlier cleared the launch schedule for February 25 at 5.56 PM from the first launch pad in Sriharikota, about 90 kms from here, Indian Space Research Organisation sources said.
PSLV-C20, the 23rd PSLV Mission of ISRO, would put the 400 kg Indo-French satellite and six others into orbit.
SARAL refers to Satellite with ARgos and ALtika. The French space agency CNES has developed ARgos and ALtikameter for analysing the ocean.
The rehearsal launch of PSLV - C20 with the primary satellite SARAL and six other foreign satellites has been completed satisfactorily, the sources said. The other six auxiliary payloads are -- two each from Canada, Austria and one each from Denmark and the United Kingdom. President Pranab Mukherjee is likely to witness the launch along with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy.