Indo-French satellite mission to launch on October 12

India's top space agency today said the launch date of the Indo-French 'Megha-Tropiques' mission to study tropical climate, is slated for October 12.

"October 12th 11 o'clock is our target (for the launch) at the moment," ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan, who is also Secretary in the Department of Space and Space Commission, told reporters here. It will be launched from the Sriharikota spaceport.

Bangalore-headquartered ISRO today held a pre-shipment review of Megha-Tropiques craft, weighing about 1,000 kgs, that has undergone all ground testMegha-Tropiques (Megha meaning cloud in Sanskrit and Tropiques denoting tropics in French), would be launched by India's workhorse rocket, the Rs 90-crore PSLV (C18).

The satellite, with a five year life, will investigate the contribution of water cycle in the tropical atmosphere to climate dynamics.

ISRO has built the Megha-Tropiques spacecraft at a cost of Rs 80 crore, along with an "equal contribution" from the French Space Agency CNES, officials said.

PSLV-C18 would also launch three nano satellites one from Luxembourg, "Jugnu" research spacecraft from IIT Kanpur and the third one to monitor greenhouse gases from SRM University.

Megha-Tropiques would carry three payloads (two by CNES and one jointly by ISRO and CNES) and a complementary scientific instrument.

"It's quite different from the remote sensing satellite or earth observation satellite that we have built so far," Radhakrishnan said.

"What's unique about this mission is of interest for the entire tropical region. As far as the output of this system (Megha-Tropiques) is concerned, the entire group of climate researchers are going to benefit.

"What we have today is a firm request from US and Europe for using Megha-Tropiques data," he added.

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