No media glare for South Asia Satellite

Thursday, May 4th, 2017, 7:27 pm

ISRO has been unusually reticent about its launch from Sriharikota today

A communication spacecraft, the South Asia Satellite, which will serve India and six of its regional neighbours, is set to lift off from Sriharikota off Andhra Pradesh on Friday evening.

Some bare information on this regional diplomatic overture apart, mystery shrouded the civil mission until late on the eve of the launch. The 2230-kg spacecraft will be launched on a GSLV, the Indian Space Research Organisation’s medium-lift rocket, numbered F09.

A normally transparent ISRO has been unusually reticent about a less than routine launch. The time of the launch has a cryptic clue – one must infer it as 4.57 p.m. from the duration of the countdown. There will be no live telecast. Brochures that would be routinely released about five days ahead of a mission are still to be uploaded on the ISRO website.