Chennai, Oct 15 (IANS) A week before launch, India's maiden lunar mission has progressed one step further, with the Chandrayaan spacecraft that will orbit the moon installed atop the rocket ferrying it. "The spacecraft was fitted to the rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C11 (PSLV C11) Tuesday night. Today (Wednesday) the heat shield will be fitted to make the rocket ready for moving to the launch pad," M. Annadurai, project director, Chandrayaan told IANS from the launch site Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, around 80 km from here.
The rocket is scheduled to be moved to the launch pad Saturday. Before that, all the systems are being tested over a four-day period.
Once the fully loaded rocket is moved to the launch pad at snail's pace on a mobile platform, the systems will be again tested for four days more.
The 52-hour countdown for the launch will begin at 4 a.m. Monday. The launch to deliver the Chandrayaan spacecraft into orbit is scheduled at 6.20 a.m. next Wednesday, Oct 22.