The 27-hour countdown for the launch of Indian rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), which will be carrying the communication satellite GSAT-6A on March 29, will start at 1.56 p.m on Wednesday, confirmed the Indian space agency. According to the Indian Space Research Organisation, the Launch Authorisation Board (LAB) and the Mission Readiness Review (MRR) committee cleared the 27-hour countdown, on Tuesday.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has earlier announced that the GSLV -F08 / GSAT-6A satellite will take flight from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota. Much like the GSAT-6, the GSAT-6A is also a high-power S-band communication satellite which is configured around I-2K bus. What makes this mission even more interesting is the fact that this project, with an estimated cost of nearly Rs. 800 crore, is cheaper than the whole production budget of a Hollywood movie named ‘Interstellar’ (which had a budget of Rs. 1,062 crores). Chandrayaan-2 will be ISRO’s very first inter-planetary mission which will land a rover on any celestial body.
The 415.6-ton GSLV rocket which measures 49.1 meters in height is scheduled to blast off at 4.56 p.m. from the second launch pad of the Indian rocket port in Sriharikota, while the GSAT-6A satellite will be put into orbit nearly 17 minutes after the rocket’s liftoff. According to the Indian space agency, two improvements have been made in the rocket’s second stage namely, electromechanical actuation system and induction of high thrust Vikas engine.
The satellite will act as a platform for developing technologies like the demonstration of 6m S-Band Unfurlable Antenna, network management techniques and handheld ground terminals, all of which are useful in satellite-based mobile communication applications. K.Sivan, the ISRO Chairman had earlier said that the GSAT-6A will be followed by the launch of a navigation satellite in the next fiscal.
For the unknown, in the union budget for 2018-19, the Department of Space was tasked with developing three earth observation space crafts ready for launch and four Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) flights, one Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle MkII and one Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk III.