ISRO to launch Israeli satellite "Polaris" today

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Chennai, Jan 21 : Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch an Israeli satellite 'Polaris' from the "Satish Dhawan Space Centre" at Sriharikota today.

The 350-kg satellite will be launched by using the "core-alone configuration" of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). This is the second time that PSLV configuration will put a satellite in orbit. In April 2007, PSLV C-8 successfully put Italian satellite Agile in orbit.

"Polaris", a radar imaging remote sensing satellite, was mated with the vehicle a week ago.

ISRO was to launch it in September 2007, but was subsequently postponed to October. At that time, the core-alone vehicle that was assembled at the Mobile Service Tower, for some mysterious reason, was dismantled.

In normal configuration, the four-stage PSLV has strap-on boosters around its first stage. Weighing 295 tonnes and standing 44 metres tall, it can put satellites weighing up to 1,200 kg in low-earth orbit.

In a core-alone configuration, the six strap-on booster motors are removed and the main PSLV looks like a lean and hungry vehicle. Weighing only 230 tonnes, it can deploy satellites weighing up to 600 kg in orbit.


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