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16-hour countdown for PSLV-C44 mission begins

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The PSLV-C44 rocket with 'Kalamsat' and imaging satellite Microsat-R stands majestically ahead of its launch from Sriharikota. Photo: ISRO

CHENNAI (PTI): A 16-hour countdown began Wednesday for the launch of Kalamsat, a student payload, and imaging satellite Microsat-R, onboard India's Polar rocket PSLV C-44 from the spaceport of Sriharikota Thursday.

"The countdown for the launch of PSLV-C44 mission started today at 19:37 hrs (IST) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. The launch is scheduled at 23:37 Hrs IST on 24th January 2019," a mission update by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said.

ISRO's workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its 46th flight, would lift off from the first launch pad at the SDSC in Sriharikota, over 100 km from Chennai.

PSLV-C44 is the first mission of PSLV-DL, a new variant of the 44.4 metre tall rocket equipped with two strap-on configuration, ISRO said.

"In this mission, the fourth stage (PS4) of PSLV-C44 will be moved to higher circular orbit so as to establish an orbital platform for carrying out experiments," the ISRO said.

According to the mission launch brochure, Kalamsat, the first to use PS4 as orbital platform, is a payload contributed by students and Microsat-R is an imaging satellite. It did not give any other detail about the payloads.

The four-stage PSLV with alternating solid and liquid stages has so far launched 53 Indian and 269 satellites of international customers.

In its last mission, on November 29 last year, the ISRO successfully injected India's earth observation satellite HysIS onboard PSLV C43 into its designated orbit.

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