New Delhi: The Indian Space Research Organization, ISRO begins its 48-hour countdown for the launch of a record 20 satellites from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikotta at 9.26 am today.
The Mission Readiness Review Committee and the Launch Authorization Board of the national space agency met last night and gave their approval for the countdown.
The payloads will be taken aboard the proven workhorse PSLV C34 that will be ignited at 9.26 am on Wednesday and put them on a 505 km sun synchronous orbit one after the other.
The satellites include Cartosat-2 Series remote sensing payload of India for earth observation purposes, two Indian students satellites and 17 other micro and nano satellites of foreign customers from the US, Canada, Germany and Indonesia.
This is the highest number of satellites to be carried by an Indian launch vehicle and hurled into space.
The second launch pad of the national spaceport at Sriharikotta in Andhra Pradesh, some 90 kilometers off Chennai, is now buzzing with activities, as the countdown is set to start for a historic launch on Wednesday.
The high profile mission has importance not only for the record number of payloads. Once the PSLV C34 puts the satellites into their circular low earth orbits, it will not wind up its operation immediately, as it used to be in the past.
A similar experiment with a single re-ignition of the PSLV on December 16 last year proved to be a grand success.
More such experiments will enable ISRO to put many satellites at different heights in a single mission in future.