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Indian rocket set to sling five satellites

PLSV-C23 launch will carry imaging, comms and quantum physics craft

India's PLSV-C23 rocket on launch pad

LIVE VID India will today attempt to launch several satellites that will include Earth imaging and microsatellite payloads.

The nation's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PLSV) specialises in hoisting satellites into sun-synchronous polar orbits, with 25 successful launches recorded by April 2014. Perhaps its highest-profile launch in international terms happened in November 2013, when it slung the country's Mars Orbiter Mission in the direction of the Red Planet.

The launch is taking place at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota.

Today's launch is much more prosaic: the 714 kg SPOT-7 Earth observation satellite from France is the main payload. Germany's 14 kg AISAT, an experimental microsatellite for tracking shipping, is also on board, along with two 15 kg experimental Canadian satellites, CAN-X4 and X5.

The Canadian experiment will be demonstrating formation flying in satellites: the two devices will be launched together, separated, and tested for activities like orbiting each other. Finally, there's Singapore's 7 kg VELOX-I, whose experiments will include Earth imaging, a quantum physics payload, and a communication test after VELOX separates into a “microsatellite and a picosatellite”.



Space agency ISRO says state broadcaster Doordarshan will be running a live broadcast of the launch beginning at 0915 Indian Standard Time, June 30 (0345 GMT, 1345 Australian EST; 2045 June 29 US PST). ®

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