Isro’s two rocket launch pads in Sriharikota escape cyclone Vardah fury

Indian Space Research Organisation's Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, from where rockets are launched, escaped the fury of the very severe cyclonic storm Vardah+ by a whisker as scientists had taken necessary precautionary measures to guard the facility.

They had been continuously monitoring weather conditions closely and once they got a cue that the cyclone would make landfall in Pazhaverkadu, which is close to the spaceport, scientists began taking measures to avoid damage to the two launch pads and other technical facilities. Though many trees had fallen on the SDSC premises, the cyclone didn't affect any of the facilities.

Vardah caused havoc in Chennai+ with strong gusty winds, uprooting hundreds of trees. Sriharikota is only about 105km from Chennai.

"We had kept track on the weather forecasts and took emergency measures. So, we didn't have any major impact. We will probably start clearing the trees by tonight or tomorrow," said P Kunhikrishnan, director, SDSC, Sriharikota. "For us, it was anyway a declared holiday on Monday. However, some work was going on."

Isro scientists said they had just completed integration of the various stages of GSLV Mk-III, which has a capacity to carry up to four tonne payload. The rocket, powered by an indigenous high thrust cryogenic engine in its upper stage, would be launched from the spaceport on January 20


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