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The countdown to the launch of GSAT-29 begins, the weather is still key

The satellite will be placed in its final geostationary rite using the on-board propulsion system and it may take a few days after the launch of the launcher to reach the orbital groove, ISRO said. (Image: ISRO)

The 27-hour countdown began on Tuesday for the launch of India's last GSAT-29 communications satellite aboard the second GSLV-MkII D2 development flight from the Sriharikota spaceport on Wednesday evening, subject to conditions climatic, said ISRO.

Although the cyclone "Gaja", which predicted to cross the coast between Chennai and Sriharikota, changed course, the Space Research Organization of India said the launch scheduled for 5.08 pm was subject to weather conditions and could be postponed in if not favorable conditions

GSAT-29 transports high-performance Ka and Ku band transponders intended to meet user communication requirements, including in the northeast and in Jammu and Kashmir.

The countdown has begun today 2:50 pm for the launch of GSLVMkIII D2 with GSAT29 in Sriharikota (more than 100 km from here). Launch scheduled at 17.08 IST on November 14, "said ISRO.

ISRO president K Sivan said there could be a postponement if the weather was not conducive.

"But we expect the launch to take place tomorrow night," he told reporters after offering prayers at the famous hillside sanctuary of Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala, about 140 om from here, on the eve of the mission.

On November 11, the Met office had said that Gaja cyclone would probably cross the coasts of northern Tamil Nadu and southern Andhra Pradesh between Cuddalore and Sriharikota on November 15.

However, the cyclone changed course and until Tuesday it was expected to cross the Tamil Nadu coast between Cuddalore and Pamban, far from Sriharikota.

The head of the ISRO said that the launch of Wednesday was one of the "very important missions and a milestone" for India's space program.

This is the second development flight of the GSLV-MkIII-D2. You will launch a very important and high performance GSAT-29 satellite. The satellite will be useful in Jammu and Kashmir and in the Northeast region to provide connectivity under the Center's Digital India program, "he said.

A successful launch will pave the way for the production of very advanced satellites in the future for ISRO, he said.

(It is) This vehicle (GSLV-MkIII) launch the Chandrayaan-II and also the manned mission. We are preparing for that. If everything goes normal, takeoff will occur around 5 pm and 8 minutes (morning), "he said.

After takeoff, the rocket will inject the satellite into the geostationary transfer (GTO) orbit with the required inclination towards the equator.

The satellite will be placed in its final geostationary rite using the on-board propulsion system and it may take a few days after the launch of the launcher to reach the orbital groove, ISRO said.

GSLV-MkIII is the fifth generation launch vehicle developed by ISRO and is designed to place satellites up to 4,000 kg in GTO.

The launch vehicle is the 67 launch mission of the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota and the communications satellite 33 built by ISRO for which it will be the fifth launch this year.

The GSLV-MkIII-D2 is a three-stage launch vehicle with two solid ties, a liquid core stage and a cryogenic upper stage. Compared to the solid and liquid stages, the C25 cryogenic stage is more efficient and complex.

According to ISRO, the GSAT-29 satellite is intended to serve as a test bench for several new technologies. It is specifically designed to meet the communication requirements of users in remote areas of the country.

Around 16 minutes and 43 seconds, the separation of the GSAT-29 is expected to take place after launch. The life of the mission is about 10 years.