CHENNAI: India's first lunar
spacecraft Chandrayaan-1 was fitted to the launch pad for rehearsals late on
Saturday night and they "went off well", a top space agency official said on
Sunday, three days ahead of the final launch. (
launch rehearsal was held at 10 p.m. and everything went off fine. It is like a
dress rehearsal ahead of the October 22 launch," a scientist said declining to
The fully integrated Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle
(PSLV-C11) with the lunar spacecraft atop was moved to the launch pad at the
Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, about 80 km from
Chennai, and off the Bay of Bengal.
"Scientists at the Indian Space
Research Organisation (ISRO) centre at Sriharikota and at the tracking centre in
Bangalore were involved in the operation," he said.
are keeping their fingers crossed that the weather on Wednesday would be fine.
While met officials have predicted rain on the day, scientists say it will not
affect the launch. "Only cyclone and lightning will be a problem," the official
ISRO director S Satish said: "The 316-tonne launch vehicle
with the 1,380 kg spacecraft was fitted to the launch pad. The launch exercises,
including testing, are in progress. About 1,000 scientists and technicians are
working round-the-clock to prepare for the 52-hour initial countdown from the
wee hours of October 20."
With 11 scientific instruments (payloads),
including six foreign and five Indian, Chandrayaan was mated with the launch
vehicle late on Thursday for mandatory checks and the final journey.