ISRO Gears Up for PSLV C-41 Launch While PSLV C-19 Enters Earth Orbit Over Center Atlantic

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ISRO is trying to replace an old satellite with new using the PSLV C-41. For doing so, ISRO is already preparing for its next mission even as the space agency is yet to come out of the shock dealt by the March 29 GSAT-6A mission which went awry. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C-41 (PSLV C-41) mission is slated to lift off from the Sriharikota spaceport on April 12, a week from now.

The PSLV C-41 mission will place in orbit the IRNSS-1I satellite, a replacement for the IRNSS-1A satellite, whose rubidium atomic clocks failed. Though ISRO had intended to replace it with the IRNSS-1H in August last year, that satellite failed to separate from the payload fairing of the PSLV C-39 rocket.

Besides this, the fourth stage (PS4) of ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C19) weighing about 1 tonne reentered over the central Atlantic at 14.06 UTC on April 3. Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics tweeted that ‘The 1-tonne PS4 rocket stage from#@ISRO’s 2012 PSLV C19 launch reentered over the central Atlantic at 1406 UTC Apr 3.

An ISRO scientist said it is a general phenomena that the Lower stages, which are closer to the earth enter the earth atmosphere no sooner their job is over. Where as upper stages (3rd or 4th stage) of a launch vehicle will also go into the orbit after injecting the spacecraft. But they lose their altitude and enter the earth atmosphere after a period of time and would burn up in the atmosphere.

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