PSLV-C 18 take off.ISRO

After the successful launch of Indian Space Research Organization's (ISRO)100th mission PSLV C 21, the agency on Wednesday set the launch date of its Indo-French satellite "SARAL".

ISRO will send SARAL to space with a mission to study ocean parameters on Dec 12, ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan told IANS during the Bangalore Space Expo 2012.

"PSLV-C20 will be assembled in about 25 days in Sriharikota and the satellite will be launched on December 12, 2012. As somebody said it's 12-12-12 (launch date)," he said.

SARAL will ferry two satellites - Argos and Altika - from French space agency CNES to undertake the study of ocean parameters. Argos is expected to cover localistaion, acquisition and distribution of environmental data whereas Altika, a ka-band altimeter, is dedicated for the measurement of ocean surface topography, said CNES.

Radhakrishnan also said that India's GSAT-10 communication satellite would be launched by the European space consortium Arianespace on Sept 22 from Kourou in French Guiana at 2.30 am local time.

"We are going to French Guiana for the launch because the satellite weighs 3.4 tonnes which cannot be lifted by any of our vehicles -- PSLV or GSLV, he said.

SARAL would be launched onboard PSLV-C20 from the spaceport of Sriharikota. When asked about the future projects of ISRO, the Chairman said the focus is laid more on the Indian manufactured operational vehicle launch.

"Operational launch vehicles like the PSLV and in future the GSLV could be built by the Indian industry," he said.