An Indian rocket will launch launch two Singaporean satellites early Saturday morning (April 22), and you can watch the action live.
A Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) is scheduled to lift off from India’s Satish Dhawan Space Centre on Saturday at 4:49 a.m. EDT (0849 GMT; 2:19 p.m. India Standard Time), carrying an Earth-observation satellite and a communications tech-demonstrating craft aloft.
You can watch the launch live here at Space.com, courtesy of the Indian Space Research Organisation, or directly via ISRO (opens in new tab). Coverage is expected to start about an hour before liftoff.
The main payload for the 145-foot-tall (44 meters) PSLV on Saturday is Teleos-2, an Earth-observation satellite that will collect imagery data for the government of Singapore.
Teleos-2 will study our planet using synthetic aperture radar, which can peer through clouds and operate at night as well as during the day. The 1,630-pound (740 kilograms) satellite will be capable of resolving features on the ground as small as 3.3 feet (1 m), ISRO wrote in a description of Saturday’s mission (opens in new tab).
The other satellite going up on the four-stage PSLV is Lumelite-4, a 35-pound (16 kg) communications demonstrator co-developed by the National University of Singapore and the nation’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research.
Lumelite-4 aims to demonstrate a new data-exchange system, which is designed to “augment Singapore’s e-navigation maritime safety and benefit the global shipping community,” ISRO officials wrote.
In addition, the PSLV’s fourth stage has been modified to serve as an orbiting research platform after Saturday’s primary mission comes to a close.
Seven non-deployable experimental payloads have been integrated into this “PSLV Orbital Experimental Module,” or POEM. These instruments — from ISRO, the Indian Institute of Astrophysics and the Indian companies Bellatrix and Dhruva Space — are expected to operate for about a month in orbit, according to ISRO.
Saturday will mark the third time a payload-packed POEM has flown on a PSLV mission, ISRO officials said.
Mike Wall is the author of “Out There (opens in new tab)” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Facebook (opens in new tab).