Just before midnight on Thursday, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch its 46th flight of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C44), to put into space Microsat-R, an imaging satellite and Kalamsat, a communication satellite developed by students, from the First Launch Pad (FLP) at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
The launch at 11:37pm IST is said to be unique as PSLV-C44 fourth stage will be re-used, moved to a higher circular orbit so as to establish an orbital platform for carrying out experiments. The rocket will also launch the Kalamsat and Microsat-R satellite into space. PSLV is a four-stage launch vehicle with alternating solid and liquid stages.
The PSLV with two strap-on configuration has been identified for this mission and the configuration is designated as PSLV-DL. PSLV-C44 is the first mission of PSLV-DL and is a new variant of PSLV.
Kalamsat, a student payload, will be the first to use PS4 as orbital platform. PSLV-C44 will also carry Microsat-R, an imaging satellite.
Earlier, ISRO Chairman K. Sivan said India's second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2, which was scheduled to be launched in late 2018, is now expected to be launched between March 25 and the end of April this year.