Friday December 10 2010: Top shots of Isro have assembled in the conference rrom at Sriharikota. Heading them is none other than the space agency's chairman. K. Radhakrishnan. It was an important meeting and they have to take a crucial decision. On their much awaited verdict will depend the fate of an important Indian space mission next Monday----December 20.
Not far from where they had gathered was the rocket, the mighty 49-metre tall three-stage Geo Synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV). It will carry an important payload--the 2,400 kg communication satellite, designated as Gsat-5p (prime) with a 12-year-life span. It has been configured as an exclusive c-band communication satellite which will help in long distance radio telecommunication.
Radhakrishnan asked each of them about the status of the launch, The unanimous verdict was that the mission was `go' for launch. The date: Monday December 20, 2010. Time: 4 p.m. The launch complex: Sriharikota. All systems are go. Range is go; satellite is go; vehicle is go; telemetry and tracking are go; weather is go and so on. The status as of Monday December 13 is green for launch. BMM hopes there will be live webcast of the launch. Watching the lift off on doordarshan is okay. but definately it cannot replace a live webcast.
What is the significanct of the flight? The significance is that it will help to augment telecom and television services.
Speaking to ``Beyond Moon and Mars (BMM) on Monday, Isro chief spokesperson, S.Satish, said that there will be a 90-minute launch window. In layman’s terms it means that the flight can be launched till 5.30 p.m. on December 20.
Gsat-5 which will replace the ageing Insat-2e satellite, has been configured as an exclusive c-band communication satellite. It is equipped with 12 c-band transponders and six extended c-band transponders. The primary role of the c-band is to help in long distance radio telecommunication.
As a result the satellite will have wider coverage in uplink and downlink over Asia, Africa and
Eastern Europe as well as zonal coverage.
The first stage of the GSLV has solid propellant, the second stage liquid and the third stage is powered by a Russian cryogenic engine. As BMM has repeatedly pointed out after this flight, Isro will find itself in a piquant situation because it will have just one Russian-made cryogenic engine left which allows the space agency to fix one more GSLV flight firmly.
The reason: the remaining flights will be have the indigenous cryogenic engine. Space experts, explained to BMM that the future GSLV missions will depend upon when the Indian engine will become fully operational. It may be recalled that the maiden attempt to launch a GSLV flight with an India-made engine on April 15, 2010 flopped.
Experts say that if the indigenous cryogenic engine is not ready. then there was every likelihood of Isro having to depend upon a foreign rocket to carry its communication satellites till the indigenous one has been declared operational.
The mission on December 20,2010 is the third launch for the year, the first one being the failed GSLV on April 15, 2010 and the second one which was a tremendous success was that of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle on July 12, 2010 carrying the Cartosat-2b satellite, a student satellite, Studsat, one from Algeria, Alsat and two nano satellites from
For the mission on December 20, BMM wishes it God Speed and success!