Sriharikota, December 11: The Indian space agency is all gearing up for the Wednesday evening launch of the country's own advanced spy satellite RISAT-2BR1 and nine foreign satellites from the Sriharikota rocket port in Andhra Pradesh. According to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) the countdown for the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket set to carry the 10 satellites is progressing smoothly.

The countdown began at 4.40 pm on Tuesday evening. India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket was expected to blast off from the first launch pad at 3.25 pm on Wednesday carrying RISAT-2BR1 a radar imaging earth observation satellite weighing about 628 kg, said the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). NASA Unveils X-57 Maxwell, Its First All-Electric Aircraft (See Pics).

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The Indian satellite will be placed into an orbit of 576 km. It will have a life of five years. Piggybacking on the Indian satellite would be nine foreign satellites from four countries -- the US (multi-mission Lemur-4 satellites, technology demonstration Tyvak-0129, earth imaging 1HOPSAT), Israel (remote sensing Duchifat-3), Italy (search and rescue Tyvak-0092) and Japan (QPS-SAR- radar imaging earth observation satellite).

These foreign satellites are being launched under a commercial arrangement with the NewSpace India Limited (NSIL). According to the ISRO, the satellites will be carried by PSLV-QL variant. The rocket will have four strap-on motors and the December 11 flight will be the second space trip for this rocket variant.

Guiding the rocket will be the Vikram Processor-1601 designed by Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) and realised by the Chandigarh based Semi-Conductor Laboratory coming under Department of Space. The Vikram Processor is used for rocket's navigation, guidance and control and also for general processing applications.

It was the 50th flight of PSLV rocket and 75th rocket mission for the Sriharikota rocket port. Just over 16 minutes into its flight, the rocket will sling RISAT-2BR1 and a minute later the first of the nine customer satellites will be ejected. The launch mission is expected to conclude in about 21 minutes when the last of the customer satellites will be put into orbit. Till date, the ISRO has put into orbit 310 foreign satellites and if the December 11 missions turns out successful, then the number will go up to 319.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 11, 2019 11:55 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website