The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set for India's first ever multi-orbital launch as country's workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle on 26 September will inject eight different satellites, including the country's weather satellite SCATSAT-1 and five from other nations, into two different orbits.
The multi-orbital launch is believed to be challenging and most of the countries opt to launch their satellites in single orbit.
India's workhorse PSLV-C35, which will be launched from the First Launch Pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota at 9.12 AM today, will carry the 371 kg SCATSAT-1 along with seven other satellites, including from the US and Canada.
The countdown for the launch of SCATSAT-1 for ocean and weather related studies along with seven other satellites, is progressing satisfactorily, a top ISRO official today said.
The total weight of all the eight satellites on-board PSLV C35 is about 675 kg, ISRO said.
"Countdown has started yesterday and all things are moving satisfactorily," ISRO Chairman AS Kiran Kumar told reporters at the airport on 25 September.
PSLV C-35 will be putting the satellites in two different orbits, he added.
While SCATSAT-1 will be released first into a 730 km Polar Sunsynchronous Orbit (SSO) after about 17 minutes, the rest will be injected into a lower orbit of 689 km after around two hours.
There will be two re-ignitions of the launch vehicle for this purpose, Kumar said.
Besides SCATSAT-1, the others are PRATHAM and PISAT, two academic satellites from India, ALSAT-1B, ALSAT-2B and ALSAT-1N (all from Algeria) and Pathfinder-1 and NLS-19, from USA and Canada, respectively.
The 48-and-a-half-hour countdown for PSLV-C35/SCATSAT-1 Mission started at 8:42 AM on Saturday.
According to ISRO, this is the first mission of PSLV in which it will be launching its payloads into two different orbits.
This will be the 15th flight of PSLV in 'XL' configuration with the use of solid strap-on motors, it added.
The mission objectives of SCATSAT-1 are to help provide weather forecasting services to the user communities through the generation of wind vector products for weather forecasting, cyclone detection and tracking, ISRO said.
SCATSAT-1 is a continuity mission for scatterometer payload carried by the earlier Oceansat-2 satellite, ISRO added.
-With PTI inputs