The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch its 46th flight of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C44) just right before midnight on Thursday, to put the imaging satellite Microsat-R, and communication satellite Kalamsat, developed by students, into space from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
The launch at 11:37 pm is said to be unique as PSLV-C44 fourth stage will be re-used automatically to launch Kalamsat payload and Microsat-R satellite into space from the First Launch Pad (FLP). PSLV is a four-stage launch vehicle with alternating solid and liquid stages.
The PSLV with two strap-on configuration has been identified for this mission and the configuration is designated as PSLV-DL. PSLV-C44 is the first mission of PSLV-DL and is a new variant of PSLV.
In PSLV-C44, the fourth stage (PS4) of the vehicle will be moved to a higher circular orbit so as to establish an orbital platform for carrying out experiments.
Kalamsat, a student payload, will be the first to use PS4 as an orbital platform. PSLV-C44 will also carry Microsat-R, an imaging satellite. Kamalsat is the world's lightest satellite made by the Indian students.
Earlier, ISRO Chairman K. Sivan said India's second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2, which was scheduled to be launched in late 2018, is now expected to be launched between March 25 and end of April this year.
Meanwhile, Indian Space Research Organisation has planned 32 missions, including the "most complex" Chandrayaan-2 during 2019.
"The year 2019 promises to be much more challenging to the ISRO community with 32 planned missions (14 launch vehicles, 17 satellites and 1 Tech demo missions)," ISRO Chairman K Sivan said in a New Year message.
(With agency inputs)