Scientists overcome weather blues on low pressure

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Sriharikota, Apr 28 (UNI) The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) decided to go ahead with the launch of PSLV-C9, carrying ten satellites, only at the eleventh hour as weather conditions tried to play spoilsport.

Addressing a post-launch press conference after PSLV completed yet another successful mission, ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair said the scientists had very anxious moments last night following formation of a system (low pressure) in the Bay of Bengal.

''We had very anxious moments last night. Only around 2300 hrs, we decided to go ahead with the launch. It was a very cautious decision as we did not want to take any risk.

However, the winds were benign and all other parametres were fine,'' Mr Nair said.

The images received from Kalpana satellite showed the system was around 1000 km close to the Andaman Region. ''But fortunately, it did not develop into a large or severe system. Otherwise we would have stopped the launch'', he said.

Two factors- that the system did not develop into a large one and it started turning in the NorthEast direction, made the scientists go ahead with the launch, he said. Even now, the system lay 350 km away from the coast, he added.

It was cloudy when the launch took place and the visibility was affected, ''but the net result is perfect mission,'' he said adding in the 1200 seconds flight, the PSLV performed excellently, much better than the text-book precision.

UNI GV/WS SB HT1405

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