by Laxmi Prasanna

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Four days after the successful launch of PSLV-C35 rocket, ISRO centers here are now focussed on the upcoming launch of PSLV-C36 in November. It also offers an opportunity for the student winners of Inter-School quiz on Oct 1 as part of the World Space Week, to witness the launch at Sriharikota. Adding to their excitement, the students will be hosted by ISRO chairman AS Kiran Kumar.

"Soon after the success of PSLV-C35 launch, preparations are on for the next PSLV C-36 mission in November for the launch of Resourcesat-2A which is a follow on mission to remote sensing satellite by ISRO created for providing accurate data about Earth surface," Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) director K Sivan told TOI.

In addition to Resourcesat-2A satellite, the PSLV-C36 will have a payload of customer satellites including a NIU satellite from Noorul Islam University in Tamilnadu and a couple of foreign satellites, he said.

According to scientists at VSSC, the foreign satellites planned for launch with PSLV- C36 mission include Italy's Max Valier satellite and Latvia's Venta-1 satellite.

Launch of PSLV-C36, will be the first among the 15 operational flights of ISRO's proven workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) given approval by the Union Cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May last year. It forms part of the PSLV continuation program which will enable the launch of satellites required for Earth Observation, Navigation and Space Sciences along with the possibility of clinching commercial launch service contracts.

Total fund requirement including the cost of 15 PSLV launches, program elements, management and launch campaign was pegged at Rs 3090 crore. The PSLV-C36 launch is ahead of the timeline set for launch of the 15 PSLVs to be completed during the period 2017-2020. 

Interestingly, the high school students from across Kerala who participate in the Inter-School Quiz on Oct 1 and emerge toppers will get a chance to visit Sriharikota to witness the launch of PSLV-C36 in November. The event will be hosted by the ISRO chairman, VSSC Technology transfer and development group head SR Vijayamohanakumar said. The Inter-school quiz will be held concurrently at Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur and Kozhikode on Saturday. It is part of the World Space Week celebrations to be organized by ISRO centers here set on the theme `Remote Sensing Enabling our Future'.