Ready for its 40th launch, India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle is set to carry 31 satellites into orbit Friday, and these photos chronicle the rocket’s launch preparations.
The 144-foot-tall (44-meter) rocket is set for liftoff at 0359 GMT Friday (11:59 p.m. EDT Thursday) from the Satish Dhawan Space Center on India’s east coast. It will carry Cartosat 2E, an Indian Earth-imaging satellite, and 30 secondary payloads for universities, governments and companies from 15 nations.
These photos show preparations of the Cartosat 2E satellite, stacking of the four-stage PSLV on its launch pad, encapsulation of the satellites inside the payload fairing, and rollback of the launch pad’s mobile service gantry before liftoff.
Read our full story for details on the mission.
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