The 53-hour countdown for the launch of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C17), which commenced at 11.48 am on Wednesday, is in full swing, with senior ISRO scientists expressing satisfaction at the progress.
The PSLV-C17's lift-off from Sriharikota is scheduled for at 4.48 pm on Friday. ISRO's work-horse rocket is geared up to put in orbit a communication satellite, the GSAT-12. The satellite weighs 1,410 kg.
The PSLV-C17 is a more powerful variant of the standard work-horse PSLV and is dubbed the PSLV-XL. It is scheduled to put the GSAT-12 in orbit after a 20-minute flight.
ISRO scientists said the countdown was progressing well and the launch window was between 4.48 pm and 5.08 pm on Friday.
This will be only the second time that the powerful PSLV-XL variant will be put into service by ISRO. The last time it was utilised to put the prestigious Chandrayaan-1 lunar module into orbit on 22 October 2008.
ISRO scientists also said this was also just the second time that a PSLV was being used to put a satellite in a geo-synchronous transfer orbit (GTO). The last time it was used for such a manoeuvre was on 12 September 2002, when the weather satellite, Kalpana, was boosted into GTO.