The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) is launching the 40th flight of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C38) on Friday, June 23, at around 9:30 am IST. The 28-hour countdown for the launch began on Thursday morning.
The launch takes place from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota, an island off the coast of Andhra Pradesh.
The PSLV carries "the 712-kg Cartosat-2 series satellite for earth observation and 30 co-passenger satellites together weighing about 243 kg at lift-off into a 505-km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO)," according to an official statement from Isro. The total weight of all these satellites is said to be around 955 kg.
The 30 co-passenger satellites include only one from India, while the rest are from Austria, Belgium, Chile, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
They are being launched "as part of the commercial arrangements between Antrix Corporation Limited (Antrix), a Government of India company under Department of Space (DOS) and the commercial arm of Isro and the International customers."
Where to watch
Live streaming of the launch will be carried out on Doordarshan. The transmission begins at 9 am IST on Friday.
You can also watch it online. Click HERE to watch the entire event live.
In case you cannot watch the event, here are LIVE updates of the entire launch, including the procedures leading up to it:
10:40 am IST: A small addition comes in the form of the pat in the back for Isro from Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.
Congratulations to ISRO on its 40th successful Polar satellite launch carrying 31 satellites from 15 countries. You make us proud!— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 23, 2017
10:10 am IST: All satellites are in orbit, and congratulations are being circulated all around.
And with that, we end live coverage of the PSLV launch.
9:59 am IST: Half an hour into the mission, and we have already had confirmation that all 31 satellites aboard the PSLV-C38 have separated from the launch vehicle. Quite the success!
In fact, this continues the unhindered run of the PSLV across all the 40 launches it has been through.
9:53 am IST: The representatives of countries whose satellites the PSLV-C38 carried and put in orbit were in attendance for the launch by Isro. They seemed happy with the way the launch went.
9:46 am IST: SUCCESS!! Cartosat-2 and NIUSAT have been separated. See them here:
9:39 am IST: We are 10 minutes into the flight, and the PSLV is at an altitude of more than 490 km and at a distance of above 2,000 km from the launch pad.
9:37 am IST: The fourth stage has started. The announcement says it is normal.
9:36 am IST: The third stage has ended, and we are in the coasting phase. The PSLV will continue to rise, but with decreasing velocity.
9:34 am IST: The second stage engine has been shut off and separated. The third stage takes over. A soothing voice announces: "Third stage normal."
9:31 am IST: The first stage has separated from the PSLV.
Performance of the second stage is normal so far.
9:29 am IST: We have liftoff! First stage is normal.
9:28 am IST: Less than a minute to go. All systems normal.
9:25 am IST: Just four minutes to go. Take a look at the projected flightpath of the PSLV-C38.
9:15 am IST: Mission control has authorised the launch of the PSLV-C38.
9:10 am IST: Less than 20 minutes to go, and the PSLV is all steady for launch. The skies seem clear, despite this being the start of the monsoon season.
9 am IST: The PSLV, which made its first flight in 1993, now has a four-stage launch procedure. In two of these stages it will use solid fuel, and liguid fuel will be used in the two others.
8:30 am IST: The launch will be special for students of the Noorul Islam University in Kumarakovil. The NIUSAT they have built is the sole Indian micro-satellite being launched aboard PSLV-C38. Read all about it!
8 am IST: The PSLV stands 44.4 m tall, and has a liftoff mass of around 320 ton. It is a four-stage rocket.
The Cartosat, meanwhile, is an earth-imaging satellite that will help India monitor its own territory and environment better.
7:30 am IST: The launch is still about a couple of hours away, but according to Isro, the propellant-filling operations of the Second Stage (PS2) of the PSLV are completed. "Countdown is progressing normally," says the space agency.