Chennai: The countdown for the launch of DRDO’s Microsat-R and Kalamsat onboard India’s Polar rocket PSLV C-44 began on Wednesday. The launch of Kalamsat, a payload contributed by students, and imaging satellite Microsat-R, is schedued for January 24 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. Also Read - RISAT-2BR1: ISRO All Set For Next Launch, to Send Spy Satellite to Space With Nine Others

“The countdown for the launch of PSLV-C44 mission started today at 19:37 hrs (IST) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. The launch is scheduled at 23:37 Hrs IST on 24th January 2019,” a mission update by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said. Also Read - ISRO Reschedules Launch Date of Cartosat-3, 13 Commercial Nanosatellites to November 27

In its 46th flight, the ISRO’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle is scheduled to lift off from the first launch pad at the SDSC in Sriharikota. According to the mission launch brochure, Kalamsat is the first to use PS4 as the orbital platform. Also Read - Chandrayaan-2: Witness Launch From Viewer's Gallery, Here's How to Register

PSLV-C44 is the first mission of PSLV-DL, a new variant of the 44.4 metre tall rocket equipped with two strap-on configuration, ISRO said.
“In this mission, the fourth stage (PS4) of PSLV-C44 will be moved to higher circular orbit so as to establish an orbital platform for carrying out experiments,” the ISRO said.

In the official Twitter handle on Wednesday, ISRO said: “PSLVC44 sits pretty on the launchpad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota under the watchful eyes of the Moon, ahead of its midnight launch tomorrow (Jan 24), carrying Kalamsat and MicrosatR. Updates will continue.”

The four-stage PSLV with alternating solid and liquid stages has so far launched 53 Indian and 269 satellites of international customers.
On November 29, 2018, the ISRO successfully injected India’s earth observation satellite HysIS onboard PSLV C43 into its designated orbit.

(With Agency inputs)