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    ISRO to launch communication satellite CMS-01 from Sriharikota today

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    The national space agency ISRO is gearing up for the launch of India’s communication satellite CMS-01 using the rocket PSLV-C50.

    The launch will be held from the second launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, some 90 kilometers off Chennai at 15.41 hours today. The 25-hour countdown for the mission began at 1441 hours yesterday. The ISRO scientists say the countdown process is progressing very smoothly.

    For the PSLV rocket, this would be the 52nd flight and for the national space agency ISRO, this would be the 77th launch mission from home. AIR correspondent reports that the versatile workhorse rocket PSLV is set to inject the nation’s new communication satellite CMS-01 into the geosynchronous transfer orbit, in a launch mission that lasts for a little more than 21 minutes from the time of its ignition.

    Generally, communication satellites are heavier and therefore the PSLV rocket carrying it requires an extra thrust to take them to the geo-synchronous transfer orbit. The role of providing the additional thrust will be played by the six strap-on motors fitted with the rocket.

    The satellite CMS-01 will have transponders to provide service using the Extended-C Band. This will be useful in covering not only mainland India but also its far-flung island territories of Andaman and Nicobar and the Lakshadweep for communication purposes. The mission life of the satellite will be about seven years.

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