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ISRO's century: India's 100th satellite to hit skies on January 12

Talked about as a milestone event in India's space history, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is alll geared up to launch its 100th satellite into the orbit on January 12.

India's centenarian launch is going to take place along with 30 other satellites in a single mission from Sriharikota.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said it was "back in the game" with the launch, the first Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) mission after the unsuccessful launch of the navigation satellite IRNSS-1H in August last year.

"The 31 spacecrafts, including weather observation Cartosat-2 series satellite, will be launched by PSLV-C40," ISRO?Satellite Centre (ISAC) director M Annadurai said today.

Stating that 28 of the satellites were from abroad, the official noted that the launch of three Indian satellites during the mission would mark the roll out of the hundredth satellite from ISRO.

"When the last satellite is ejected out it will become the hundredth satellite...The first century we have done.

It is the maiden century. So PSLV-C40 marks maiden century of Indian satellite.

We are eagerly waiting for that," he said. Speaking to reporters on sidelines of an exhibition on ASTROSAT here, Annadurai said, "With PSLV-C40 we are back in the game".

PSLV-C40 will launch the 710 kg Cartosat-2 series satellite for earth observation and 30 co-passengers (together weighing about 613 kg) at lift-off on January 12 at?09.28 am, ISRO said. It will be launched from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, about 100 kms from Chennai.

The co-passenger satellites include one micro and nano satellite each from India. Three micro and 25 nano satellites from six countries namely Canada, Finland, France, Republic of Korea, UK and USA, make up the other payload.

Referring to the PSLV-C39 failure, Annadurai said ISRO had understood it and repeated tests had been conducted to ensure that such problems did not reoccur.

This took slightly more time for PSLV-C40 launch. On August 31, India's mission to launch its backup navigation satellite IRNSS-1H on board PSLV-C39 failed after a technical fault on the final leg following a perfect launch.

ISRO then said the heat shield did not separate on the? final leg of the launch sequence and, as a result, IRNSS-1H got stuck in the fourth stage of the rocket.

The total weight of all the 31 satellites carried on? board PSLV-C40 is about 1,323 kg. According to ISRO, Cartosat-2 series satellite launch?is a follow-on mission with the primary objective of providing high resolution scene specific spot imageries.

It carries panchromatic and multi-spectral cameras operating in Time Delay Integration mode and is capable of delivering high resolution data.

This will be the third satellite in the Cartosat-2 series.

On plans for the year, Annadurai said Chandrayaan-2 was in the final stage of testing and integration of the orbiter, lander and rover, and was expected for launch this year.

Also, IRNSS-1I, a follow-on satellite will be the first satellite whose assembly, integration and testing will be fully done by private industry, he said, adding "we are enabling the private industry".

On GSAT-11, a six tonne class communication satellite, he said, was at the final leg of testing, and the launch target was April.

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