India begins 28-hour countdown to launch its 100th PSLV on 12 Jan: 28 satellites from six countries to debut alongside

India began countdown early Thursday for launching 31 satellites in a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from its spaceport in Sriharikota

Sriharikota: India began countdown early Thursday to launch 31 satellites in a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from its spaceport in Sriharikota, said the space agency. "The 28-hour countdown began at 5.29 am in the mission control for the rocket launch at 9.28 am on Friday," said the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on its website.

The spaceport Sriharikota High Altitude Range (SHAR) is located about 80 kilometres northeast of Chennai off the Bay of Bengal coast.

ISRO IRNSS-1H PSLV-C39 rocket satellite core stage assembly 380

Representational image: ISRO

"The propellant filling operation of fourth stage of PSLV-C40 is under progress," said an update on ISRO's website on Thursday morning.

The 31 satellites with a combined weight of 1,323 kilograms have been integrated with the PSLV-C40 for deploying them in the earth's lower orbit after lift off.

Of the 31 satellites, three are Indian and 28 are from six countries,  Canada, Finland, France, South Korea, UK and the US.

The Indian satellites are 710 kilograms Cartosat-2 series for Earth observation, a 100 kilograms micro satellite and a five kilograms nano satellite.

"The micro satellite will be India's 100th satellite in space," ISRO Satellite Centre Director M Annadurai had told IANS on Tuesday.

The first space mission in 2018 onboard the PSLV-C40 comes four months after a similar rocket failed to deliver the country's eighth navigation satellite in the earth's lower orbit on 31 August, 2017.

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