The polar satellite launch vehicle's 52nd mission is scheduled for lift-off at 15.41 hours on Thursday from Sriharikota.

PSLV-C50CMS-01 at the launchpad at ISRO station in Sriharikota
news ISRO Wednesday, December 16, 2020 - 17:43

The 25-hour countdown for the launch of communication satellite CMS-01 on board launch vehicle PSLV-C50 commenced on Wednesday, ISRO said. The polar satellite launch vehicle's 52nd mission is scheduled for lift-off at 15.41 hours on Thursday from the second launch pad at the spaceport of Sriharikota 'subject to weather conditions'.

"PSLV-CMS-01 Mission: Countdown for the launch of PSLV-C50/CMS01 mission commenced today at 1441hrs from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, SHAR Sriharikota," ISRO said.

“PSLV-C50, which is the 52nd mission of PSLV, will launch CMS-01 from the Second Launch Pad (SLP) of Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota. The launch is tentatively scheduled at 1541 Hrs IST on December 17, 2020 subject to weather conditions,” ISRO said in a release. 

CMS-01 is the 42nd communication satellite of the space agency and it is envisaged for providing services in Extended-C Band of the frequency spectrum covering India, Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands. PSLV-C50 is the 22nd flight of PSLV in 'XL' configuration (equipped with six strap-on motors), and tomorrow's launch would be the 77th launch vehicle mission from Sriharikota, about 120 km from Chennai.

The PSLV in normal configuration is a four stage/engine expendable rocket powered by solid and liquid fuels alternatively with six booster motors strapped on to the first stage to give higher thrust during the initial flight moments. The Indian space agency has PSLV variants with two and four strap-on motors, larger PSLV-XL and the Core Alone variant without any strap-on motors. The choice of the rocket to be used for a mission depends on the weight of the satellite and the orbit where the satellite has to be orbited.

About 20 minutes into its flight, PSLV-C50 will eject CMS-01 into geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) and from there, the satellite will be taken up and positioned at geosynchronous stationary orbit.

The CMS-01 will be a replacement for GSAT-12 that weighed 1,410 kg and was launched on July 11, 2011 with a mission life of eight years.

ISRO Chairman K Sivan had earlier said the PSLV-C50 rocket will be followed by the launch of new small rocket Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) carrying EOS-02 (Earth Observation Satellite), and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-F10 (GSLV) carrying EOS-3. The other Indian satellites that are ready for launch are GISAT and Microsat-2A.

The launch of the GISAT-1 satellite slated for March 5 this year was postponed due to technical reasons a day before the launch. 

The GISAT-1 satellite will be carried by a GSLV rocket. The GSLV rocket was dismantled after the launch was called off, and is being refurbished. The rocket's cryogenic engine has been brought down and it is being readied again. The GSLV carrying GISAT-1 is expected to fly after PSLV-C50.

PSLV-C50 follows the successful launch of PSLV-C49 (EOS-01) earth observation satellite and nine customer spacecraft on November 7 which was ISRO's first mission of the year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its fifty first flight (PSLV-C49), successfully launched EOS-01 along with nine international customer satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota. PSLV-C49 is the 2nd flight of PSLV in 'DL' configuration (with 2 solid strap-on motors).

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