ISRO prepares for PSLV comeback launch
India is all prepared to launch their PSLV for its 42nd flight today. It will record the movement of the exoplanets.
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is preparing their Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) for its 42nd flight today.
The primary payload for the mission is India’s Cartosat 2 Earth Observation (EO) satellite, but it will also carry 30 co-passenger satellites when it lifts off from the Satish Dhawan Space Center (SDSC) at 9:29 a.m. IST (10:29 p.m. EST).
The co-passenger satellites which will go along with the main one comprises of one microsatellite and one nanosatellite from India as well as three microsatellites and 25 nanosatellites from six countries, namely, Canada, Finland, France, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The total weight of all the 31 satellites carried onboard is about 1,323 kg (1.45 tons).
One satellite included in the mission is France’s PicSat nanosatellite, constructed of three 10-cm cubes.
PicSat is developed by the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). It is designed to demonstrate the capabilities of small satellites to observe exoplanet transits.
It will use its small telescope that is just 5cm in diameter to observe Beta Pictoris, a young star (23 million years old) approximately 63.4 million light years away from the Earth.
The CNRS aspires to capture one of its planets, called Beta Pictoris b, as it transits across the star between now and this summer.
According to the French National Center for Scientific Research, by observing the movement, astronomers hope to derive the exact size of the exoplanet, as well as the extent of its atmosphere and its chemical composition.