Mars spacecraft taken to Sriharikota for October 28 launch

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October 3, 2013

MUMBAI: At 6am on Gandhi Jayanti, the 1,350kg Indian Mars Orbiter began its initial journey towards the Red Planet. After a puja for the mission's success, the spacecraft was flagged off from the Isro Satellite Centre in Bangalore towards the launch centre at Sriharikota near Chennai.

October 3, 2013

MUMBAI: At 6am on Gandhi Jayanti, the 1,350kg Indian Mars Orbiter began its initial journey towards the Red Planet. After a puja for the mission's success, the spacecraft was flagged off from the Isro Satellite Centre in Bangalore towards the launch centre at Sriharikota near Chennai.

The orbiter, with its five payloads, is expected to reach Sriharikota on Thursday evening. There it will undergo more tests before the launch at 4.15pm on October 28.

Fuel-filling operations will be initiated prior to its integration with the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) around October 10. Simultaneously, tests will be carried out on the PSLV. The Indian Mars Orbiter Mission will also mark the silver jubilee flight of the four-stage PSLV.

Prior to its departure for Sriharikota, the spacecraft was placed in a special container equipped with an environmental monitoring system. The spacecraft is being taken in a truck and its route has been kept under wraps. It is being escorted by a battery of CISF personnel. Around noon on Wednesday, TOI was informed the convoy with the special cargo had reached Dharmapuri in Tamil Nadu.

"As it passed various towns and villages en route to Sriharikota, hardly anyone from these places knew what this convoy was carrying," an Isro official said. Throughout the journey, there was an exchange of information between those accompanying the convoy and the Isro team at the Bangalore centre.

With the lift-off date approaching, hotels in Chennai have started getting bookings from national and international media outlets looking to cover the much-awaited launch.


Courtesy: TNN