Countdown for PSLV-C20/SARAL mission begins

CHENNAI :  The T-59 hour countdown for the launch of February 25 launch of PSLV-C20 mission, which would carry seven satellites, including the Indo-French collaborative SARAL satellite, began at 0656 hrs this morning at the Indian Spaceport of Sriharikota, about 100 km from here.

An Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) release said  the Launch Authorisation Board (LAB), which met at the SHAR Centre last evening, has cleared the launch scheduled for  Monday evening at 1756 hrs.
ISRO sources said the countdown has been progressing smoothly.
During the countdown, the process of filling the  propellants into the core-alone PSLV-C20 rocket would take place.
The LAB cleared the launch after the launch Rehearsal of PSLV-C20 with the primary satellite SARAL and six other  satellites were completed satisfactorily at the SDSC SHAR,  Sriharikota.
“After the Mission Readiness Review and the meeting of  the Launch Authorisation Board last evening, the mission  was cleared for launch for February 25 evening”, the sources said.
PSLV-C20 would be the 23rd PSLV Mission of ISRO and  the ninth ‘Core-Alone’ (without solid strap-on motors)  variant.
SARAL (Satellite with ARGOS and ALTIKA) is an ISRO-CNES (France) joint Venture for oceanographic studies.
The other six auxiliary payloads are from Canada (2),  Austria (2), Denmark (1) and UK (1).